Perennial Investment Partners has recruited three investment specialists to its retail distribution team, entrenching a distribution model diverging from the “old bureaucratic BDM infrastructure”, Brian Thomas, head of retail at the boutique manager, said.

Perennial’s eight-person retail distribution team now staffs six investment specialists, who are well-briefed on the group’s five boutiques and are capable of managing key accounts, in addition to liaising with platforms, fund researchers, dealer groups and financial planners.

“We have 17,000 planners on our database. But it’s the old 80/20 rule: it gets down to about 4,000 [planners] and they want to talk to someone who really understands the portfolios,” Thomas said.

The new team members at Perennial are:

-Andrew Davies, formerly an investment specialist with Ironbark Asset Management, who will concentrate on relationships with platforms, national dealer groups and financial planners in NSW;

-Felicia Entwistle, formerly research house relationship manager with BT, who has joined to liaise with fund and dealer group researchers; and

-John Negri, formerly a senior business development manager covering independent financial advisers for ING, who will engage financial planners in Victoria and South Australia.

Davies and Entwistle split the old national sales and research manager role, which was formerly held by Matt Harrison, who left Perennial in July to become head of investment sales at Colonial First State.

Thomas said Perennial did not want to build the typical investment sales chain of command – featuring senior retail executives, key account managers, BDMs and business development officers – which could be inflexible in the course of business.

“Say there’s a key account in Perth. We don’t want to fly someone from Sydney when we have people in Perth. Our people are experienced enough to talk to platforms, researchers and big accounts.”

Meantime, Thomas denied a persistent rumour within the industry that IOOF Holdings, which owns Perennial, has put the boutique business on the market and that nabInvest is a prospective buyer.

While Entwistle began work at Perennial on October 12, Negri will begin on November 9 and Davies on November 18.

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