Wilshire Associates, the private markets consultant which also manages $3 billion locally in Australian and offshore private equity funds-of-funds, was rocked last week by several simultaneous resignations, including that of the founder of its Australian business.

Ovidio Iglesias, who established Wilshire’s Canberra office in 2000 alongside a group of departees from Total Risk Management (the old PSS/CSS investment advisor) has tendered his resignation and is serving out his notice, along with fellow Australian and decade-long Wilshire veteran Grant Fleming, the managing director of Wilshire Associates Japan.

The number of other senior executive departures was unclear at presstime, but is understood to number between five and 10 in total, although the president of Wilshire Private Markets,  Kevin Nee, remains at the organisation after starting only last year.

The loss of Iglesias, a member of the Wilshire Private Markets management committee and key sourcer of investment opportuniites for Asia-Pacific portfolios, will be seen as a significant event by most Australian clients.

Health Super is an investor in the manager’s Australian and international private equity fund-of-funds. After being informed of the global resignations on Friday, chief investment officer Brendon Shepherd said the fund immediately initiated its review process, as Iglesias in particular is considered a key individual at the manager.

SunSuper chief investment officer David Hartley, who inherited a “tiny” exposure to Wilshire through a corporate fund roll-in, said yesterday the fund had yet to be informed by Wilshire of the resignations.

The Australian clients of Wilshire Associates are AGEST, Auscoal Super, BUSS Q,  CARE Super, ESS Super, FIRST,  Health Super, Hostplus, Maritime Super,  Sunsuper, Super SA, Telstra Super  and UniSuper.

Spokespeople for Wilshire were unable to be contacted before presstime.

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