Perpetual chief executive Chris Ryan knows tough markets.

He helped set up fund management joint ventures in China and South Korea. Ryan laughs when it is suggested that Australia must be cake walk in comparison.

“We’ve got through a period of instability,” says Ryan. “There are some opportunities to grow the business even in a subdued environment.”

Ryan and his chief financial officer Roger Burrows say they would consider another private wealth advisory acquisition.

Brian Henderson, group executive for marketing and communications, Ryan says, will lead a renewed sales effort. Richard Vahtrick, chief operating officer, says there is room to cut the company’s information technology expenses.

The company has a fund management, private wealth and corporate trust business. Its net profit fell 31 per cent to $62 million in the year to June 30, 2011.

“Industry flows have been negative,” says Ryan. “Markets have been tough. We’ve experienced outflows across all channels.”

The company has $25.4 billion in funds under management as of July 31. Average margins for those funds are 78 basis points for the year to June 30, 2011.

“We want to retain good fund managers as long as we can,” says Ryan, who gave no update on John Sevior.

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