AUSTRALIA - Thomas Murray, the specialist custodial rating, advisory and monitoring consultancy, is to open an office in Melbourne "as soon as possible", according to the company's COO.
Thomas Murray is currently advising the Future Fund in its custodian selection process. Landing the Future Fund as a client was the “momentum” behind seeking to open an Australian office, said Ross Whitehill, COO.
“We will work principally with superannuation funds,” Whitehill said. “We have found that, because of increased regulatory guidelines, superannuation funds are looking for greater assistance in the evaluation, selection and monitoring of custodian banks.”
Whitehall noted Australia’s status as the fourth largest pool of funds available for investment in the world, the increased pace of superannuation funds retendering their custody mandates and the fact that non-Australian banks are increasingly focusing on the Australian market also factored into the firm’s decision to open an Australian branch.
“There are also more assets up for grabs in the market, plus the APRA [Australian Prudential Regulation Authority] regulations have new stipulations for making sure there are proper operations on both the custodian bank side and the superannuation fund side.”
Whitehill and Sadie Barkham, a consultant with the firm, were in Australia this week and met with APRA to discuss the firm’s offerings and credentials.
Thomas Murray has previously consulted with New Zealand. The firm’s Melbourne office will open as soon as the firm has hired someone locally, Whitehill said. Thomas Murray currently has offices in London and Toronto.
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