Access Capital Advisers was rocked on July 16 by the departure of its entire New York office, understood at presstime to have moved to AMP Capital Investors, as the firm redistributed the 24 per cent shareholding which departed founding director Paddy Jilek is selling back. The office had been led, since the late 2009 departure of Matt O’Donnell, by Tom Majewski, a highly regarded banker who has taken with him a team comprising Farhad Billimoria, Damien McDonald and Digby Beaumont.

Of the ten employees who were made shareholders of Access on July 1, 2008 – joining the four founding directors – it is understood only four now still work for the consultancy and unlisted assets manager. These departees included Guillaume Valdant, the former head of private equity at the firm, former reporting/operations chief Julian Widdup, and the founder of the firm’s UK office in 2007, Andrew Cunanan. Two new partners have been promoted, with Tom Snow, a Rhodes scholar, rising from associate director to partner within the Access CA infrastructure group, focusing on Australian investments. Meanwhile Kui Ng becomes a partner and continues to head the consultancy’s property group.

These two have bought some of the equity which Paddy Jilek is selling, since he ceased to be an employee of Access in January 2010. Equity has also been allotted to the company secretary and the chief financial officer of the consultancy. A founding partner and the chief executive officer of Access, Alexander Austin, acknowledged the shop would be losing South Australia’s Statewide Super as a client (it is understood to be moving to JANA), but said the two organisations would continue to work together on co-invested deals.

He said the performance of Access portfolios, famously heavy on unlisted assets, had begun to improve from the doldrums of the global financial crisis. The consultancy’s template unlisted portfolio has returned a net 9.97 per cent a year since 1999, against a 7.42 per cent return for an amalgam of the ASX300 and the MSCI World ex-Australia indices.

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