Dimensional Fund Advisors in Australia has lost its two most senior regional sales directors, Mark Yetman and his direct report Ross Kent, who, combined, covered the firm’s institutional business.
DFA Australia earlier this month advertised for a new role online, as ‘regional director of financial advisor services’.
Kent had joined only in April last year after heading Alliance Bernstein’s retail business and serving as acting managing director of that business for a time, however he was primarily institutional at DFA.
Yetman, who spent a good part of his career in the US, had been with DFA for 13 years. He recruited Kent to his role with DFA as institutional regional director, Australia and New Zealand.
DFA Australia has become one of the top 10 US-based managers operating in Australia, managing about $30 billion in Australian-sourced assets. The passive-style manager has sourced about NZ$980 million from New Zealand but mainly via retail advisory channels.
A spokesperson said the changes were part of the “natural evolution” of the business in Australia.
“[Yetman] made a big contribution to raising our profile in the institutional market. We’ve parted company on good terms,” the spokesperson said and Yetman confirmed.
“Ross Kent coincidentally left after receiving another opportunity in the wealth management industry. Again, the departure was amicable.”
Kent has gone to NAB Asset Management, the multi-affiliate manufacturing business, as head of global distribution.
The DFA spokesperson said: “Our institutional business hasn’t changed. In fact, we just opened an office in Melbourne.”
Until Yetman’s replacement is found, DFA’s institutional business in Australia will be headed by regional director, institutional, Kevin Kandasamy, who joined DFA in 2006 and recently helped set up the firm’s new Melbourne office.
As well as recruiting for executives to replace Yetman and Kent, DFA was also searching for a new Australian regional director following the promotion of incumbent Joel Teasdel to the manager’s Singapore office this month.
In late June, DFA plans to bring members of its US Mutual Fund board to Australia. A one-day international investment symposium in Sydney will feature presentations by three Nobel laureates associated with our firm – Eugene Fama, Robert Merton and Myron Scholes.