Aberdeen Asset Management has clarified its intentions regarding State Street Investor Services, which took over Credit Suisse Asset Management’s backoffice just in time for that firm’s sale to Aberdeen, which has a global backoffice relationship with BNP Paribas Securities Services.
The chief operating officer of Aberdeen AM, Brettt Jollie, said the only function that had been taken back from State Street to date was trade matching on the equities side, because the manager’s global front office system is Charles River and BNP Paribas SS has the required connectivity.
The legacy Credit Suisse AM funds will remain administered by State Street indefinitely, while a review of product range takes place over coming weeks.
A watershed day in the entire Australian merger of the Credit Suisse and Aberdeen businesses will be August 15, according to Jollie, when a link between State Street and Charles River comes on-line and allows the Credit Suisse AM fixed income team to move from their old premises at Sydney’s Gateway building, and in to Aberdeen’s offices at 201 Kent St.
“Up until now we have had to have a Chinese wall and physical separation between the legacy Credit Suisse AM and Aberdeen fixed income teams, simply because they are on different trading systems and it means you can’t allocate securities between clients fairly.”
Jollie admitted that longer term, the presence of two backoffice providers within Aberdeen would need to be reviewed, however he said his immediate focus was on product review and rationalisation.
He acknowledged that as a global backoffice partner, a bigger role for BNP Paribas made sense but also pointed out that the State Street-administered Credit Suisse AM business was larger than Aberdeen’s pre-merger business in Australia.
After the Credit Suisse AM fixed income team desert Gateway, all that will remain there is an in-house unit registry team. That too is due to shut up shop in December – the amount of time Jollie estimates it will take to move that registry function off Infocomp’s Composer platform, and on to the RBC Dexia Investor Services registry platform used by the rest of Aberdeen.