JANA Investment Advisers, the staff-controlled associated company within the NAB group of investment management and advice offerings, is making a major foray into the wholesale market, expanding on a beachhead established last year.
JANA, which was previously fully owned by NAB but, since 2017, 55 per cent owned by staff, launched its first set of managed accounts on behalf of a Melbourne-based advice business early last year, after Michael Karagianis joined the firm as a senior consultant to lead the roll-out of “retail partnerships”. He has now been joined by John Ryan as the business development lead for that part of the business.
Karagianis, who was previously head of private investment consulting at NAB Asset Management, said last week that JANA had already signed up two more clients for the business. He said that if the firm had about a dozen quality client firms within three years, that would be a good result.
“What we’ve chosen not to do is launch our own SMA brands,” he said. “We prefer to engage each client firm individually and set up a number of managed accounts for them. We will be using platforms, with us providing the advice and model portfolios.”
Another difference from traditional advisors to financial planning groups which JANA will exploit is that it does not have a research arm which charges fees from the managers for research.
He said that this was a new market segment for JANA, although the firm obviously had a top pedigree in the institutional market, including for family offices, charities and other smaller fiduciaries. “They can decide whether to avail themselves of our traditional consulting or our implemented consulting services.”
He said: “We have been working over the past 12 months to leverage the core capabilities of JANA’s advisory business to apply it to the advisor-led market. At present, the advisor-focussed consulting market is highly fragmented with a wide range of players ranging from individual consultants through to boutiques to larger institutionally owned consulting firms. Not all of these are likely to survive moving forward.
“JANA has a unique blend of the culture of a boutique consultancy business but with the strength of its institutional presence and balance sheet. JANA has a lot to offer advisors wanting high quality consulting services.”
Ryan previously had account management roles at Zenith and Lonsec. Most recently he has been working on a contract basis with Jamie Nemtsas’ new meetings, PR and publishing business, the Inside Network.
Note: Investor Strategy News adopts the US consensus definition of the three main market segments: institutional, such as big super funds and corporates; wholesale, which is the financial planning and other advised investors; and, retail, which is direct to the individual investor, which are often unadvised, such as many SMSFs.