Intech Investment Consulting is looking for a 50 per cent equity partner to aid the development of new investment strategies in areas which have traditionally been the realm of investment banking and to make for smooth succession management.

The directors have appointed Caliburn Partners to advise on the sale of up to 50 per cent, according to managing director, Michael Monaghan. An information memorandum has been distributed to several interested parties. Intech, which was founded by Ron Liling in the late 1980s, who was then joined by former partner John Schaffer, has about $8.5 billion under management, primarily in its Managed Asset Consulting Service, and $20 billion under advice with institutional clients. Liling, who has more than 40 per cent of the company, intended to retain a significant holding, Monaghan said yesterday. Schaffer sold most of his holding when he took a sabbatical in Ireland for several years. There are more than 20 shareholders in the company, primarily consisting of directors and staff, with a few outside shareholders, the most notable being Phil Green, the chief executive of Babcock & Brown investment bank. The directors had not identified what sort of company would represent an ideal partnership, Monaghan said, but it would be a company which was able to fast-track the development of innovative products due to the “convergence of investment banking, technology and know-how”. “This is a very positive move for us,” Monaghan said. “It will take us to the next stage of our development. It’s the most sensible next step and will take things like governance to a new level.” Caliburn will oversee a formal process, which is expected to take several months. Meantime, Monaghan said, it was business as usual, with the firm set to announce two new products soon. The most recent purchase of an implemented consulting firm was that of JANA, which was acquired 100 per cent by NAB in 2000 for an undisclosed sum. Notwithstanding industry predictions at the time, JANA did not miss a beat in client retention or adding new clients after the sale, having doubled funds under advice to about $70 billion over the past five years. A sale price is likely to be determined more through a percentage of funds under management and advice, as is the norm in financial services, rather than a multiple of earnings.

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