Matt Lawler, the former chief executive of boutique Australian financial services firm Yellow Brick Road, has joined OneVue as executive general manager of Wealth Management Services. In a passionate address to the company’s AGM, OneVue CEO Connie Mckeage outlined not only the future for the company, including Lawler’s role, but also the future for retail investment admin generally..
Mckeage, the founder and chief executive of OneVue, told shareholders at the meeting in Sydney last Thursday that the takeover of managed account company Diversa Ltd, including the recruitment of its well-regarded CEO, Vince Parrott, and the successful 18-month negotiations to win the outsourcing of National Australia Bank Asset Servicing’s (NAS) retail unit registry, were “game changers” for OneVue.
“We intend to deliver very good performance at a group level this year, for the first time,” Mckeage told shareholders. “We have a play of material relevance in each of the [industry’s] key sectors that have a strong probability of success going forward.”
The NAS deal announced last week, involving the outsourcing of NAS’s ‘CARS’ (County Australia Registry Service) platform, which it acquired in the 1990s, another has landed OneVue another potential 40-odd managers with which it can readily do business.
NAS has signed a $25 million five-year contract and is the fourth custodian to outsource to OneVue, out of the six majors. The other three are BNP Paribas, Northern Trust and one other believed to be State Street.
But the big deal for OneVue, which is a little harder to get you head around, is its “Fund.eXchange”. This is the new low-cost admin system that goes live this week, on December 1, and has the potential to change the whole funds management backoffice industry. It connects the distribution of funds management products to a new fund marketplace. Dealer groups Century and Maddison are the first to go live.
Mckeage said that Fund-eXchange would not only improve efficiency for managers in the unit trust field, it’s fee-for-service model would significantly reduce costs by creating “parity” between all investors – the smaller ones doing the same things as bigger ones would be charged the same.
For the company it also means the expansion of the client base on the platform, adding high net worth individuals, charities and institutions to the core financial planner base.
“It also mean a redistribution of the margins for the people playing an ongoing role in the creation of client wealth,” Mckeage said. “That’s namely fund managers and licensee groups.”
Mckeage said that the company would continue to look to both organic growth and expansion by acquisition. It still had about $18 million in cash.
* Greg Bright is publisher of Investor Strategy News (Australia)