Artisan Partners, the Milwaukee-based manager of $63.7 billion in U.S., emerging market and global equities, is poised to enter the Australian market, say people familiar with the matter.

Dean Patenaude, head of non-U.S. distribution for Artisan, will travel to Australia in coming weeks to continue assessing the opportunity for the manager to establish a local sales office, the sources say.

Mike Roos, spokesman for Artisan, says the manager is unable to comment on its business plans because it is waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its application to become a publicly-listed company.

Artisan executives have researched the Australian market during previous visits and talked of establishing a sales office.

In April 2010, Eric Colson, chief executive of Artisan, told Investment Magazine that the manager aimed to establish a sales office in Australia. Patenaude said the manager would like to have an office but was considering appointing a third-party marketer.

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