(Pictured: Robin Burns)
Equity Trustees (EQT) has outsourced about A$2.5 billion of custody and administration to State Street under its year-old “Project Foundation” management strategy.
While senior management at EQT could have been forgiven for being distracted from the management plan due to the recent battle to acquire Trust Company, the deal streamlines the remaining inhouse backoffice capability for the company.
Robin Burns, the chief executive, said that EQT would continue to have its inhouse capabilities in areas in which it was thought it could compete with the big custodian banks.
“We outsource a lot of things,” he said. “In fact the great majority of what we do involves outsourcing. We are the RE (responsible entity) for about 160 managed funds and we use all the major administrators and custodians.”
He said that the recent outsourcing was not a material part of the EQT business. The company was looking to redeploy affected staff into current vacancies elsewhere.
Meanwhile, it would appear from developments last week that Perpetual Trustees will win the three-way tussle for control of Trust Company. To gain ACCC acceptance, Perpetual agreed to sell Trust’s 13 per cent holding in EQT on completion of the deal. IOOF, the third suitor for Trust has said it would buy the stake.
EQT’s “Project Foundation” was approved in July last year and involves pursuing increased business efficiency through rationalization of IT and systems infrastructure and consolidation of administration teams and activities.
Burns, the former CEO of EquipSuper who joined EQT in 2010, also implemented a restructure for all support business units to operate on a group-wide basis.
In other recent custody news, NAB Asset Servicing has retained custody for UBS Asset Management after a review, along with winning a renewed five-year deal from Prime Super.
Prime Super is thought to be in merger discussions with fellow industry fund Health Industry Plan, but HIP’s chief executive, Ross Bernays, would not be drawn on the talk when contacted this month.