The Andrew Barnes-backed Complectus fetched above $200 million in the trade sale to Australian-based Trustee Partners announced last week, industry sources have confirmed.
Complectus – an amalgam of NZ trustee firms including Perpetual, Guardian and Covenant – ditched plans last November to list in an IPO expected to raise $150 million.
Barnes said in a release following the deal: “Ultimately the offer from Trustee Partners was too strong to ignore.”
Under an agreement with previous Perpetual owner, Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC), Bath Street Capital – the Andrew Barnes-owned entity that controls Complectus – could be liable for a $22 million payment if it listed on the NZX. The George Kerr-backed PGC abandoned court action against Bath Street Capital to claim the $22 million last November pending the IPO.
In a statement last November, PGC said: “The agreement means court action has been withdrawn, and the parties are in the process of finalising the terms of a settlement. Once those terms have been finalised, a further announcement will be made.”
Barnes was yet to clarify whether the agreement with PGC would also be honoured under the trade sale of Complectus to Trustee Partners.
“Any obligation to PGC pertains to Bath Street Capital, not Complectus, so is not relevant to this transaction,” Barnes told Investment News NZ.
Launched in 2016 Trustee Partners is the trading vehicle of Sargon Capital, an entity “founded by technology entrepreneurs Phillip Kingston and Aron D’Souza, in partnership with veterans of the Australian financial services industry, backed by significant global investors”, its website says.
Trustee Partners operates under the Australian Financial Services Licence of Adelaide-based Tidswell Financial Services, an entity Sargon acquired last February.
In April this year the Australian Financial Review reported Sargon – which briefly included tech mogul and NZ citizen, Peter Thiel, on the share register – was seeking to build up $20 billion in assets under supervision or management “by buying up and merging smaller administration companies”.
Kingston said in a release last week: “We’re attracted to New Zealand because of favourable industry and demographic trends, including increasing household wealth and growing demand for intergenerational wealth transfer solutions.”
Perpetual Guardian, the main Complectus operating entity, claims total assets under supervision or administration of “over $100 billion”.
During the 12 months to June 30 last year Guardian Trust reported a profit of about $8.75 million on revenue of $43.6 million while Perpetual Trust lost $331,000 on revenue of $4.9 million.
Guardian is supervisor of 10 KiwiSaver schemes, including the $10 billion plus ANZ funds as well as AMP, BNZ and Westpac.
Trustee Partners’ Kingston was instrumental in launching ‘impact investing’ Australian superannuation fund Good Super. Tidswell, Trustee Partners licensing entity, was also appointed as supervisor to the Spaceship super scheme, formed last year with an emphasis on the technology investments allegedly favoured by millennials.
As well as managing director, Kingston, the Trustee Partners executive team features several senior staff formerly linked to the Australian arm of NZ-originated investment platform business, FNZ including: Patrick Liddy, strategic partnerships; Christina Liosis, chief financial officer; and, John Atabak, head of technology and administration.
Trustee Partners plans to retain all Complectus staff – including chief executive, Grant Kemble, appointed in 2015 to develop the business.