The rapid succession of ownership changes at InTech Investments has helped prompt one of its major implemented consulting clients to put the contract out to tender.
The $410 million BOC Gases Superannuation Fund appointed InTech to replace Mercer Investment Consulting in 2005, outsourcing investment implementation for the first time in its 70-year history.
The contract has not been re-tendered since, however BOC’s superannuation manager Allan Murphy said InTech’s "dramatic" changes in ownership this year had formed part of the reason for testing the market now.
"It’s clearly a factor although it’s not the most significant issue…the regulator is on to you if you don’t review all your service providers regularly," Murphy said.
BOC’s fund, a hybrid scheme known for its generous employer contributions, has contracted John Newman of Professional Financial Solutions to run the tender.
The lion’s share of the BOC scheme assets are managed by Intech, however a "$50 or $60 million" illiquids portfolio with AMP Capital Investors, comprising mostly direct property but also infrastructure and private equity, is not up for consideration in the review.
Murphy said this meant the fund would continue to require a master custodian, a service currently provided by BNP Paribas Securities Services.
Murphy said requests for proposals had just closed, and that "most implemented consultants you could think of" had made submissions, including the incumbent InTech.
He estimated that Newman would take a couple of months before making a recommendation to the trustee board.
Founded by Ron Liling in 1989, InTech was sold to Skandia in 2006, but the mid-market platform provider struggled for scale and was sold to Australian Wealth Management/IOOF in March 2009. InTech became one of three multimanager research teams within that stable, so the unit was on-sold to Morningstar in June.
A major InTech advisory client, the $2 billion ClearView Managed Investments, flagged in March that it would review investment advice arrangements, but no update from the IAG-owned firm was available at presstime.