JP Morgan is understood to be in the box seat to take out the unified custodian role at the $37 billion Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) fund.
While an ACC spokesperson said “nothing’s been finalised regarding the custody appointment”, industry sources said JP Morgan has emerged as the likely winner as tipped earlier this year.
JP Morgan and Northern Trust currently share ACC custody duties, with the former managing Australasian assets while the latter in charge of global portfolios.
The ACC has been assessing bids for a single custodian since last August when it closed off tenders, with an announcement of the winner due later this month.
In the tender documents, the ACC said it was seeking a “forward thinking custodian with a global business model that has the ability to support ACC locally and bring new ideas to enhance ACC’s investment operating model”.
Northern Trust recently celebrated 20 years providing master custody services to the ACC fund with the Chicago-based firm also picking up the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS) custodial role in 2007.
JPMorgan replaced Trustees Executors as ACC’s Australasian custodian in 2008.
According to the latest government accounts, the ACC portfolio was valued at more than $37 billion as at the end of May, more than $2.3 billion above forecast.