(Pictured: Patrick Colle)
BNP Paribas Securities Services has invested more in Australia, in terms of people and systems, than in any other country in the past few years, Patrick Colle, the Paris-based chief executive told a media briefing last week. The firm is now getting about half of all new business from outside Europe.
Colle said that, five years ago, about 90 per cent of BNP Paribas’ new securities services mandates were European based. Today, it was about 50 per cent. Of the 50 per cent from outside Europe, roughly half was from Asia Pacific and most of the rest from the Americas.
He said that the firm was pleased to build up its Melbourne office to better cater for an Australian market which would probably take over from Japan as the third-largest pensions market in the world over the next few years. BNP is the fifth largest custodian in the world and third-largest (after NAB Asset Servicing and JP Morgan) in Australia.
BNP Paribas was also expanding and improving its offering, such as with the recent acquisition of the former Credit Suisse alternatives administration business globally, which took the total assets under administration in alternatives to about US$250 billion, resulting in a doubling of the size of the Hong Kong and Dublin offices. BNP Paribas has about US$10 trillion of assets under custody and administration.
“This business requires continual investment in technology. It’s not for the feint-hearted,” said Ian Perkins, the head of sales for Australia and New Zealand.
BNP Paribas has chosen to partner with OneVue for retail unit registry and the other retail aspects of its business, which is a potentially new area for the major custodians. OneVue has “hooked up” AMP Capital, BNP’s biggest Australian client, for its transfer agency and registry services.
Among the other custodians eyeing that space due to the growth in SMSFs and potential growth in member-directed investment options from big super funds, State Street has announced a joint venture with systems company FNZ and JP Morgan has taken a small stake in and become a client of Linear.
Colle said there was a progressive outsourcing of more and more components of funds management businesses around the world and continued increase in their cross-border activities.