Citibank has flagged an aggressive approach to expanding its custody and administration business in Australia next year after rolling out its global administration platform to offer an integrated solution to the local market.

David Russell, the Hong Kong-based managing director and regional head of Citi’s securities and fund services business in the Asia Pacific, was in Australia last week and told I&T News that the country was a priority market for his business.

“China and Australia are the two major countries we are focused on in 2013,” Russell said.

“We’ve been a long term custodian in Australia but now we are adding new administration clients now we have our global platform in place.

“So we are adding a middle office and administration capability and offering an integrated solution, which we think will find some interest as funds think hard about their operating models.”

Citi has built an Australian custody business with $64 billion under administration from a “standing start” in the last two years.

In November, the bank won the custody mandate from Challenger, which manages more than $35 billion across a range of asset classes.

“We can see an opportunity for us here as the super funds grow in size,” said Russell.

“There will probably be some more consolidation down the track, and as the funds get bigger the instruments they are holding become more complicated, so they will be wanting early delivery of information and improved analytics around that.”

Last week, BNP Paribas launched an administration service for alternative assets to help institutional investors manage private equity, infrastructure and property investments more efficiently.

The bank said the move was prompted by an increased demand for greater transparency around alternatives from regulators.

 

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