Australia’s most successful global equities manager, Platinum Asset Management, has hired an investment consultant from Watson Wyatt to spearhead its first major push into the institutional market.

Andrew Grimes will start at the $14 billion Platinum in the new year, reporting to chief investment officer Kerr Neilson. The traditionally retail funds manager has decided to try its hand at managing institutional money in a bid to “broaden [its] source[s] of funds under management”, according to the ad for the position earlier placed on Platinum’s website.

Liz Norman, investor services manager at Platinum, said that Grimes’ experience as asset consultant at Watson Wyatt would “bring an understanding of what institutional clients [were] looking for”.

Initially Platinum will use Grimes’ expertise to try for mandates with Australia’s industry superannuation funds and family offices. Eventually there are plans to tap sovereign wealth funds, foundations, public offer, industry and corporate pension plans throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Grimes spent two years at Watson Wyatt, resigning from the global asset consultant last week. Head of investment consulting, Graeme Miller said Grimes would stay on until the end of year. He added that Watson Wyatt had an “experienced team that can more than fulfil Grimes’ responsibilities”. He would not confirm if the firm planned to seek a replacement.

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