AUSCOAL Super, which from next month will be known by the thoroughly modern name of ‘Mine Wealth + Wellbeing’, has reappointed JP Morgan after a custody services review, following news that VicSuper has also reappointed its custodian, NAB Asset Servicing.
Not all reviews of custody services result in a change of provider, but they invariably result in a change in the contracted services and, often, price. And there are a lot of reviews being played out in the securities servicing landscape this year.
Another which should be announced in the next week or so is the interesting battle between JP Morgan and Northern Trust to be sole provider at the Accident Compensation Commission fund in New Zealand. A recent trend is for big funds to consolidate their securities services providers, which QIC did also last month.
And another to follow soon after is a review by Telstra Super. NAB Asset Servicing, the incumbent, had its contract renewed there only about three years ago following a big review including a range of new and revamped services by advisor MSI Group and the former chief financial officer, Christina Liosis.
As previously reported, the Mercer trusts, which total about $25 billion, are also undergoing a review, being handled by Mercer Sentinel. NAB is the incumbent there as well.
At the $9.5 billion AUSCOAL, Stephen Rowbottom, the chief financial officer, said: “After an extensive review over the past four months, AUSCOAL has decided to continue with J P Morgan as the fund’s custodian… We are very pleased…[to] build on our 12-year relationship and leverage existing and new services and functionality.”
The review process, assisted by Brett Elvish of Financial Viewpoint, involved a request for information followed by on-site visits with each custodian. This involved Citi, NAB, Northern Trust and State Street.
Elvish was also involved in the review by VFMC, as reported in Investor Strategy News last month, which resulted in State Street replacing NAB after an association which spanned about 18 years, it was confirmed last week.
At VicSuper, the NAB contract was extended for another three years, following recent additional support provided by the bank to the $15 billion VicSuper’s investment data warehouse.
VicSuper chief executive, Michael Dundon, said: “We continue to work with our long-term partners to improve our offering to existing and new members.” The fund has nearly 250,000 members.
Meanwhile, the change of name at AUSCOAL should prompt some interest from other industry funds which are engaged in increasing competition for members with the commercial funds and also between themselves.
Bruce Watson, AUSCOAL’s chief executive, said the fund’s new brand direction and name had been chosen “to offer members increased value throughout life, not just when they are thinking about retirement”.
He said: “AUSCOAL Super’s mission has been to help Australia’s mining community retire with dignity for over 70 years. Innately knowing our members and serving their retirement needs is our calling and our specialty… However, extensive market research showed us that many members and their families are looking for ‘more than super’. For our members, that translates into information, guidance and advice at other stages of their life, and through life events other than retirement.”
– Greg Bright
AUSCOAL, Vic Super reappoint custodians