The $5 billion Qantas Superanuation Plan has made the big decision to change its custodian.
Following a months-long select market tender and review process assisted by Marian Azer of Mercer Sentinel, the 32,000-member corporate fund will novate from NAB Asset Servicing to JPMorgan Treasury & Securities Services in July.
The chief executive of Qantas Super, Janet Torney, said the assessment criteria were weighted toward the delivery of core services – safekeeping and accounting – while JPMorgan’s ability to offer a private equity funds administration service was also a factor.
The fact that NAB is a domestic custodian while JPMorgan is part of a global network did not sway the tender outcome, Torney said, with “no single factor’ being decisive.
The new three-year contract covers services up into the middle office such as performance reporting, as well as the infrastructure which would allow Qantas Super to resume securities lending, should it decide to do so after suspending its program during the global financial crisis.
NAB Asset Servicing is regarded by consultants as one of the best if not the best provider of unit pricing for super funds, however that was not a factor in the Qantas Super tender as the plan has a monthly declared crediting rate policy (with interim crediting rates based on a set of assumptions), which Torney said was “constantly under review” but not about to change in the short term.
“There are certainly pros and cons [of both unit pricing and crediting rates],” she said.
The chief executive of JPMorgan Treasury & Securities Services, Jane Perry, said Qantas Super would become the fourth Australian user of its private equity funds administration service.
The custodian has been on a hiring spree as it digests the ANZ Custodian Services business, and also does what Perry describes as “exploratory work” to Australianise JPMorgan’s global accounting platform, holding out the possibility that the custodian may eventually cease to need DST’s HiPortfolio system.