(Pictured: Beate Meyer)
Swiss bank Vontobel’s wealth management arm – Vontobel Asset Management – is looking to build an institutional presence in Australia. Several Australian clients have previously been serviced from the firm’s Hong Kong office.
Vontobel already has a bank representative managing director – Beate Meyer – and a compliance officer in its Sydney office. Meyer also has some asset management client-facing responsibilities in Australia but the institutional mandates, which total about $3 billion and include AustralianSuper, have been handled from Hong Kong.
Prior to coming to Australia in April this year Meyer managed the German fund client business from 2007.
The Sydney office builds on parent bank Vontobel’s strategic alliance with ANZ, which was announced last year. At that time, ANZ Global Wealth chief executive officer, Joyce Phillips, said the alliance would provide clients across the Asia Pacific region “with world-class investment and asset allocation solutions, which include expertise and capability in global asset allocation, equity investing, and sophisticated client advisory services.”
Vontobel will grow its team to suit the market and is understood to be considering a position that will focus exclusively on asset management sales. A search has been underway for the past few months.
While the firm offers a range of funds and strategies for institutional clients, it has concentrated in Australia to date on marketing global equities and emerging markets.
Vontobel Asset Management’s parent bank in Switzerland has an almost century-long history and was established in 1924. Worldwide, the bank held CHF 173 billion (A$205.9 billion) in client assets and employed around 1400 people as of July 1 this year.
– Penny Pryor and Greg Bright