It is understood Sterling Grace has withdrawn Trustees Executors (TE) from sale after offer prices fell short of expectations.
According to industry sources, TE has told New Zealand clients the firm is no longer on the market with a return to ‘business as usual’.
As reported by Investment News NZ (IN NZ) earlier this month, Sterling Grace, a vehicle majority-owned by Swiss-based US investor John Grace, was seeking about $150 million for the New Zealand trustee company.
Sources close to the deal say final bids ranged between $80-100 million with Australian listed financial services firms IOOF and Equity Trustees in the hunt as well as Link Market Services, a registry company half-owned by the NZX.
TE, New Zealand’s oldest trustee company, has been through several ownership changes since establishment in 1881, with the latest sale attempt the second in the last few years.
The group oversees about $80 billion across its personal estate planning, corporate trust and investment administration business units.
TE is trustee for seven KiwiSaver schemes (which will drop to six following the imminent merger of Mercer’s two schemes), with Fisher Funds its biggest client in that sector. With over $7 billion under management, Fisher is also TE’s largest investment administration client.
Earlier this year, TE also downsized its corporate trust team with long-time executives, Yogesh Mody and Clynton Hardy, made redundant.
Rob Russell, TE head, did not return IN NZ calls prior to deadline.