Australian Unity Investments, which recently passed the $5 billion mark in funds under management, has finally recruited a new head of retail distribution.

Adam Coughlan, who left Colonial First State last month, will join Australian Unity in the middle of next month, moving from Sydney to Melbourne for the job. Coughlan, who has held several senior roles at Colonial since 2000, was most recently in charge of the firm’s largest clients as head of national accounts and research relationships. Prior to that, he spearheaded Colonial’s drive in the masterfunds market and on-line development. Coughlan had previously held institutional funds management positions, including at Schroder Investment Management, where he was head of pooled funds, and the former BT Funds Management, where he was business manager for international equities. At Australian Unity he replaces the late Alan Miller, who died last year. Coughlan said yesterday that he was attracted to the role because Australian Unity was doing innovative things in the boutique space, with its stakes in Acorn, Platypus and bond manager Vianova. “With the components they’ve developed in manufacturing working well, Australian Unity has got itself on the map,” he said. “This is really the second stage now. It’s a compelling argument and I want to help drive the business in the retail market.” Australian Unity currently has in-house manufacturing capabilities in property and mortgages only. David Bryant, the chief executive of Australian Unity Investments, said Coughlan had an unusually broad-based experience and knowledge which would be invaluable in supporting the company’s growth plans.

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