QSuper, the Queensland-based public sector fund, is to appoint Northern Trust as its new securities servicing provider following a review of its arrangements led by former Mercer Sentinel consultant Matthew Heeney.
Heeney, who joined QSuper as head of investment operations from Mercer in January 2016, declined to comment on the move via the fund’s public relations office last week. State Street was appointed to the-then $32 billion fund in March 2012.
State Street had replaced NAB Asset Servicing following a tender process run by the international consulting firm Thomas Murray, which made a name for itself by advising NZ Super and Australia’s Future Fund on their securities servicing arrangements. Both also chose Northern Trust.
The change of securities servicing provider after six years has historically been fairly rare, due to the inconvenience and costs, but is becoming increasingly frequent in a low-returns world where funds are also looking to enhance their access to new technologies. Northern Trust has made a name for itself with its middle-office technology in recent years.
QSuper, one of Australia’s oldest funds, established in 1912, has about 550,000 members and currently manages about $65 billion.
Rosemary Vilgan, who was the chief executive of the fund for 18 years, retired in 2015 and replaced by Michael Pennisi. She oversaw the establishment of an in-house investment capability, while retaining QIC as an outsource investment manager for some strategies.