Funds SA, the $32 billion South Australian Government fund manager which handles several super funds, is going to tender for its securities servicing contract, currently held by JP Morgan.
The fiduciary manager has appointed Mercer Sentinel to advise on the review and assist in the tender process. Mercer held a briefing in Sydney last week for the several candidates invited to participate in what it described as a “closed tender”.
Mercer has won several big pieces of securities services advice recently, including a current Tasplan review, the Suncorp tender precipitating its move from National to BNP Paribas, and last year’s big TCorp review, where the tender was won by JP Morgan.
The group of participants is understood to include RBC, which is the only one of the major custodians which specialises in funds management and does not pitch for super fund master custody.
From Funds SA’s perspective it will be managed by John Piteo, the COO, who has been with the fund since 1995. He is responsible for leading the investment operations, fund accounting, ICT, and governance, risk and compliance teams. His role also entails developing and implementing Funds SA’s corporate strategy and working closely with Funds SA’s board and sub-committees, service providers, clients and stakeholders, according to the Funds SA website.
It will be interesting to see whether Jo Townsend, the chief executive, also plays a part. She joined Funds SA from REST Super, where she was COO, in 2015. Prior to that, she was COO at Non-Government Schools super fund. She also knows a lot about securities servicing having run custody tenders at both those funds. In both cases State Street, which is also a participant in the current tender, was the victor.