Listed wealth-management firm Perpetual has started a global executive search to fill the newly created position of group executive, investments, to oversee the firm’s Australian-domiciled investment-management teams.

The position has been created as part of the Transformation 2015 program, which is designed to cut $50 million from the company’s cost base by the start of the 2015 financial year.

Cathy Doyle is currently group executive of equities. Richard Brandweiner is currently group executive of income and multi-sector, and acting-group executive of investments.

The chief executive and managing director of Perpetual, Geoff Lloyd, says the program will simplify Perpetual’s structure, strengthen its balance sheet and position the company to expand its core businesses of Perpetual Private, Perpetual Investments and Corporate Trust.

Lloyd says the transformation program will result in a smaller business, but one that is better placed to grow without the complexity and costs that previous expansions had caused.

“I’ve spent some time with the two internal group executives that were previously running that business – Richard Brandweiner and Cathy Doyle – and with [head of Australian equities] Matt Williams,” Lloyd told I&T News.

“We agreed a job description some time ago, and I engaged Egon Zehnder from today [Monday] – I needed to wait for this announcement – to start that internal and external search.

“They’ll use their network which is regional and global, but it’s a search I think will take about eight to 10 weeks.

“It’s a really exciting new role for Perpetual, and means we get an end-to-end accountability for the P&L for Perpetual Investments, with all the functions underneath it.

“It’s important that we’ve got accountability in the three client-facing businesses of investments, Perpetual Private, where Mark Smith is starting, and Corporate Trust, where Chris Green is continuing.”

Lloyd says there will be greater cooperation between Perpetual Private and Perpetual Investments to harness Perpetual’s manufacturing capability to meet the needs of its high-net-worth clients.

“The teams there have been working together on things where we think we’ve got really strong capability in Perpetual Investments, and where the product is as good or better as any other [manufacturer’s] then we’d be doing the wrong thing by clients by not putting that to them,” Lloyd says.

“For instance, we now manufacture asset allocation in one place. That’s a great example. We have clients we felt had a need for alternative funds, and so Perpetual Private went to Perpetual Investments – with their capability to build out specialist capability there – and we’ve raised $100 million.”


Not all things to all people

But where Perpetual Investments does not have, and does not want to develop, capabilities, Lloyd says Perpetual’s strategy will be to “buy, build or partner” to round out its capabilities.

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