(Pictured: Charles Cock)
BNP Paribas has won the securities servicing contract for the $7.6 billion Australian Unity portfolios as the custody industry continues to see the greatest activity in mandate changes that it has for years.
It is understood that the pitch was hotly contested by State Street, which has had a string of wins itself in the past year among fund managers, which tend not to get the same level of publicity as the big super funds.
With the super funds, NAB Asset Servicing is having to defend a big part of its turf. Expected to come to market soon are NAB clients which include the $19 billion GESB, VFMC, UniSuper and the Mercer trusts, totaling about a quarter of the bank’s business in securities servicing.
GESB outsourced its member administration to AAS this year, and there has been a rumour around Perth that it is also considering going down the implemented consulting route with its investments. The fact that its head of investments, Bill Dwyer, has moved back to Sydney for a job with JANA has probably helped fuel that rumour although he has said his move was for family reasons. If GESB did outsource its investments to JANA’s implemented consulting service, NAB would probably retain the custody contract. NAB does the JANA fund.
Charley Cock, the global head of BNP Paribas’ coverage and client solutions for securities servicing, said the bank had improved its offering to the Australian market over the past three or four years and he was very happy with how it was going. “We don’t want to slow down,” he said, notwithstanding the hiccup represented by the departure last week of Australian head Peter Baker to Mercer Sentinel (see separate report).
David Bryant, the chief executive of Australian Unity Investments, said: “After an extensive due diligence process we determined that BNP Paribas had the strongest full service proposition in core custody together with middle and back office services for our asset management business and joint venture partners… We were also most attracted to BNP Paribas’ ongoing investments in technology and their commitment to supporting our expansion plans, and in turn, helping us to future proof our strategy.”