Ausbil loses COO during custody review

Ausbil Investment Management lost its chief operating officer, Simon Blakers, in its recent management restructure, just as the firm culled the lineup of potential custodians to three, following a lengthy review.

The restructure, which saw founder Paul Xiradis step back to an executive chairman role, was unrelated to the custody review. It involved the elevation of Ross Youngman, former institutional business head, to the role of chief executive.

Former NAB Asset Servicing client manager Stephen Maloney, however, remains at Ausbil, where he has been since 2014, initially as a consultant, and is overseeing the custody tender since Blakers’ departure earlier in February. Maloney is operations project manager at the firm.

The custody review started about the middle of last year and involved pitches from each of the major seven securities servicing firms. The incumbent is NAB.

It is understood that the group has been culled to a short list consisting of NAB, Northern Trust and RBC. RBC is the only major firm in Australia which does not provide services to super funds, but concentrates on fund managers. Its long-term big client is Perpetual Investments.

As part of the restructure at Ausbil, which has about $8.5 billion under management, Mark Knight, former head of retail business, became the head of distribution, overseeing both market segments.