NAB Asset Servicing faces its second big Queensland tender decision within a month now, following its appointment as QSuper’s first master custodian.
Queensland Investment Corporation has also been conducting a review of its custodian arrangements, which have been with NAB and Bank of New York Mellon for about 12 years, and is expected to announce its decision after the board meeting next month.
QIC is currently in a blackout period with the incumbent and hopeful contender custodians, taking no more information from them during its final deliberations. The government-owned multi-manager held a series of “challenge workshops” with custodians over the past few weeks. It has managed its review internally.
QIC has about $53 billion under management on behalf of about 70 institutional clients, which still include some of the funds of the $28 billion QSuper.
QSuper announced last week that it had selected NAB as master custodian after a review which commenced last September and which was assisted by specialist consultant Mercer Sentinel.
QSuper decided last year to take more control over its investments, previously managed solely by QIC, and set up its own investment team under Brad Holzberger, who was previously at QIC.
Michael Cottier, QSuper’s chief financial officer, said the appointment of NAB would allow the public sector fund to manage its custody relationship directly and “provide our members with a more efficient, cost-effective investment administration platform”.
The appointment does not impact the investment mandates that the fund still has with QIC.