Ben Heap, head of UBS Global Asset Management in Australia, has some tough decisions to make. Heap, 41, must decide on staff numbers and retain key personnel as he integrates ING Investment Management.
“Inevitably there is some overlap and it is unlikely every last person will come across,” says Heap. “Relationships with key personnel will be critical.”
ING’s $34 billion business, which manages $29 billion sourced from ANZ, employs 130 people. UBS has 90 investment management staff in Australia and New Zealand and will see its assets under management rise to $57 billion.
ING’s staff will remain at their Clarence Street offices in Sydney. But Heap says at the end of a 12-months integration period all investment management staff may work in the same office. Heap declined to disclose the price paid for ING.
Heap says John Fraser, the Australian who heads UBS asset management globally, supports his plan to build up the range of UBS alternative investment products that will be sold in Australia. The products will include funds-of-funds, UBS’s own hedge funds, property and infrastructure funds.
“There could be three or four major product areas that could sustain the business through different market cycles,” says Heap.