Equity Trustees has prioritised its new relationship with ANZ by calling a halt to the expansion of its funds management business.

The decision has led to the exit of George Boubouras, who served as chief investment officer of Equity Trustees for 18 months.

In April, Equity Trustees acquired ANZ’s trustee services business bringing its total funds under management and administration to $40 billion, the deal going hand in hand with an ongoing business partnership.

The two firms have entered into a five year relationship where ANZ will refer clients to Equity Trustees for trustee services, while Equity Trustees will work with ANZ to develop a suite of banking solutions that can be offered to its trustee clients. This is open for a renewal for a further five years.

Robin Burns, managing director of Equity Trustees, said managing the transition of ANZ trustee clients and money must now take priority.

“I did not think building an institutional funds management business at the same time [as the transition] was the best thing we could do. We are going into a period where we have a significant integration challenge that is going to be a major focus.”

He added that growing a funds management business in an “incredibly competitive field” would have been a distraction from the firm’s core activity.

Boubouras, who spent 18 months in the role of CIO, had wanted to carry on expanding the funds management business and chose to leave as a consequence of the change of direction.

Dr Paul Kasian, currently head of equities at Equity Trustees, will become acting head of asset management, supported by Hugh Hodges, Lance Pupelis, James Buckley and a team of equity analysts.


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