US manager T Rowe Price will aggressively target the Australian retail space this year via platforms and has hired Louise Bradshaw as assistant vice president. Bradshaw will join group executive, Ed Brooks, from mid this year and will assist in the group’s retail push. T Rowe Price is not yet on any retail platforms.

Bradshaw is an Australian currently based in the UK and previously held client relationship roles at Alliance Capital Management Australia and was institutional sales director at First State Investments in the UK. She will return to Australia to take up the new role. “Platforms and wraps will be a major focus for us this year,” Brooks said. The manager recently lost a sizeable institutional mandate from QIC which saw Australian funds under management drop from close to $2 billion to just $300 million but Brooks says the group’s commitment to the Australian market is still strong. “QIC was a disappointment but we still have a good sizeable business here,” he said. The group may also consider launching a pooled trust later this year. T Rowe Price came to Australia in 2004 after its $1.7 billion QIC mandate win. The US manager was also rumoured to be a strong contender to appear on a Challenger international boutique fund-of-funds product but the deal never eventuated. “We’ve concentrated on the superannuation market through the consultants but obviously we are very interested in the mezzanine retail space,” Brooks says.

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