(Pictured: Ian Perkins)
BNP Paribas is looking to provide a greater array of services to its custody clients in Australia, helping fund managers, for instance, to expand their businesses internationally. Ian Perkins says there are enormous opportunities, especially in Asia.
Perkins has been appointed acting head of BNP Paribas securities services in Australia and New Zealand following the departure of Peter Baker last month to take up the lead role at Mercer Sentinel. Perkins is a former consultant himself and the co-founder of what became Morse Consulting. He also set up that firm’s Asian office, based in Hong Kong.
At a regular BNP Paribas briefing last week, hosted by the bank’s country head, Didier Mahout, Perkins said that, potentially, BNP could also assist with financing for Australian fund managers looking to expand in Asia.
“We want to support global growth for our clients and ourselves,” he said. “It’s about using the whole of bank to assist in accessing new markets… It’s very much a global game nowadays. We’re the fifth largest custodian in the world, with US$9 trillion in assets and more than 200,000 employees.”
Mahout said BNP Paribas had ambitions to significantly grow its Asian presence, even though it had been in China for 1250 years and was the oldest foreign bank in Australia, dating back more than 130 years.
“We want to hire another 1,300 people here on top of the 8,000 we already have on the ground in Asia Pacific,” he said. “Securities services is an important part of that. We will be moving faster on the integration of our offerings with other parts of the bank in Australia.”
Perkins believes that the most important issue at the moment is for super funds and managers to meet the new regulatory requirements. They also need to be able to measure and understand all the risks in the marketplace.
“Stronger Super [the Government’s raft of legislation] has put a much stronger focus on the risk side of things,” he said. “There’s also a convergence between super funds and managers, with insourcing. That means we have to think about funds as both asset owners and fund managers. We need to have a whole of fund view… We are also focusing on efficiency and cost effectiveness. We’re providing access to global scale and technologies.”