Pentafin, a provider of integrated administration systems for retail financial services groups, has flagged that the significant Ascalon ownership it inherited through its merger with Direct Portfolio Services will not last long-term.

Pentafin CEO, Connie McKeage, said that given the aspirations for Asian expansion held by the unit registry and managed account specialists, its best kind of owner for the future would be an independent technology firm with “;global reach”;. McKeage said that Ascalon, which together with investment committee chair Michael Cole owns over 90 per cent of shares in the merged company, was understanding of Pentafin’s strategic aims for its shareholder base. She added that during the Investec-led review which might see St. George Bank and Kaplan sell the Ascalon boutique incubation business, it would be “;business as usual”; for Pentafin. McKeage was speaking after the new chair of the combined Pentafin/Direct Portfolio Services board, Philippa Smith, had just completed her first meeting. The former ASFA CEO, who first worked with McKeage as an issues management consultant when McKeage was at Rothschild Australia Asset Management, satisfies Direct Portfolio’s request for a “;neutral”; chair of the merged board. Gail Burke, the chair of Pentafin since early last year, will remain on the board.

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