Rob Brown

Custody and fund accounting stalwart Rob Brown has taken a senior role at the Australian arm of a global securities services provider.

Brown, who until recently was the sole principal at consultancy Alford Brown & Associates, will be the Australian head of custody sales and relationship development at HSBC Securities Services.

HSBC Australia’s head of securities services, Andrew Bastow, said Brown would replace John Bulter, who will head up the bank’s sales and relationship management for its sub-custody and clearing division in Singapore.

“Brown will bring two main things, the first is broadness of market experience and an understanding of what the various people in the value chain require, and what drives their particular business,” Bastow said.

“Secondly, he has worked for big organisations before and we deal with lots of cross-border businesses. So, (there’s) relationship management in this space, as well as also picking up those relationships we have got in Australia on a face-to-face basis.”

Brown has a long history in the industry in a number of senior posts, including six years at the helm of Ausmaq for National Australia Bank and four years heading up sales and client relationships at Commonwealth Bank’s custodial services arm. He was also the vice-president of State Street for four years in the mid-1990s.

His role at HSBC, for which he reports to Bastow, covers the custodian’s strong international business and domestic broker-dealer areas. But Brown could also bring his strong links in the Australian industry to bear on strengthening relationships with local funds managers, Bastow said.

He said the bank claimed about 67 per cent of the custody market for inbound international investment into Australia, making it the largest sub-custodian in the market, but was also looking to grow its links with local funds managers.

HSBC was also performing well in capturing a growing slice of the local broker-dealer market, he said.

“We cover three of the top five broker dealers in Australia so that drives our transaction volumes. I think we cover about 40 per cent of the transactions going through the stock exchange now.”

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