The new Australian owner of Auckland-based Heritage Trustee has cleaned out the firm’s senior sales staff as it moves to a “technology-enabled” model.
Following the restructure initiated in June, senior supervisory manager, Lloyd Wong, has left the business along with a swag of Heritage client relationship managers.
Former Public Trust senior manager client services, Wong joined Heritage in March 2018 after the storied firm was granted a supervisor licence by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
Last December, the Melbourne-headquartered Sargon purchased Heritage for an undisclosed price following a 2017 buyout of the New Zealand Trust Company.
According to a spokesperson for the Australian firm, Sargon “undertook some re-structuring back in June to better position the organisation for growth”.
“We continue to provide a range of corporate and individual trustee services, in addition to refining our offering as a KiwiSaver supervisor, to build and grow the next generation of KiwiSaver schemes,” the spokesperson said. “We remain committed to providing innovative and technology-enabled trust and supervisory services to New Zealanders.”
Heritage reported a loss of $2.9 million for the 12 months to March 31 this year, compared to a $1.6 million loss over the previous annual period.
After a $1 million capital injection during the year, the Heritage accounts show total shareholder equity of almost $6.5 million.
Sargon, which previously tried to break into the NZ market in a thwarted takeover bid for the Perpetual Guardian group of companies, has more than A$50 billion in assets under administration.
The firm, founded by Phillip Kingston and Aron D’Souza in 2013, has been particularly acquisitive over the last couple of years including paying A$45 million for the superannuation trustee arm of ASX-listed OneVue in 2018.
Sargon also bought another ASX firm – robo-advice provider Decimal – in 2018 after its more than A$50 million purchase of long-established Australian trustee firm, AET Corporate Trust, in 2017.
The Sargon website says it expanded into the NZ market in 2018 to tap into “an emerging and growing defined contribution savings system”.
Meanwhile, the $50 billion plus US institutional fund manager, Epoch Investment Partners, has hired Eddy Schipper to head its newly-opened Australian office.
Schipper, previously Nikko Asset Management Australia head of distribution, will be responsible for “leading client relations and business development in Australia and New Zealand”, Epoch says in a statement.
However, Melbourne-based multi-affiliate firm, GSFM, will continue to distribute Epoch to the retail market in Australia and NZ, the release says.
In the statement, Damien McIntyre, GSFM chief, says: “We are looking forward to working closely with Eddy to further build on this strong growth, and continue the distribution of Epoch’s funds to retail investors.”
GSFM is also targeting growth in the NZ market on the back of a couple of mandates here for partner firms Epoch and global fixed income specialist, Payden & Rygel.
Epoch manages over $53 billion globally, the release says, of which about $3 billion is sourced from Australian clients. In November last year, Nikko NZ dropped Epoch from its $300 million multi-manager global shares fund.
Before joining Nikko Australia, Schipper held various client roles with IFM (Industry Funds Management), Colonial First State, HSBC and Perpetual Trustees.