The Australian managing director of fund administration group Apex has left to join a challenger brand in the fund services space, weeks after the group finally prevailed in its bidding war for Mainstream Group.
In a statement, Ascent Fund Services said it had appointed former Apex Group Australian managing director Eric Koolman as its new chief executive.
Mr Koolman had been managing director of Apex since 2018 but had been on gardening leave since March this year, according to LinkedIn.
The Singapore-based Ascent is chaired by Omar Taheri, who has held previous roles at Macquarie Bank and Singapore funds incubator Swiss-Asia Financial Services.
Mr Taheri said the group, which currently services 150 clients with $9 billion assets under management, saw opportunities in the Australian market given the recent bidding war between Apex and the US-listed SS&C for investment administrator Mainstream Group, which saw Apex prevail when SS&C dropped out of bidding in late June.
“Consolidation in the Australian fund services market is leading to less competition and lower service levels. We see demand from local funds managers for customised services which they don’t get from the larger global players,” Mr Taheri said.
He added that Ascent, which was founded in 2019, currently had operations in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan, and would look to expand to India, Abu Dhabi, the US and Taiwan later this year.
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