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abrdn selects MSC Trustees as trustee for its Australian fund book

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Following abrdn’s recent changes in the Australian market, MSC Trustees has confirmed it is assuming abrdn’s trusteeship and responsible entity (RE) duties across its Australian fund book.

Global investment manager abrdn has selected MSC Trustees to assume trusteeship and RE duties across its Australian fund book, comprising 10 registered funds and $1.5 billion funds in management.

In a statement on Tuesday, MSC Trustees said the appointment reflects abrdn’s decision to move from internal trusteeship to external independent trusteeship in Australia.

abrdn also recently entered into a strategic partnership with SG Hiscock & Company for SG Hiscock to distribute abrdn’s international funds to the Australian market.

At the time, SG Hiscock confirmed that the investment management of the abrdn Australian Small Companies Fund and the abrdn Ex-20 Australian Equities Fund would also transfer to SG Hiscock, while abrdn would continue to manage eight funds.

The partnership with MSC Trustees will take effect through its acquisition of abrdn’s existing Australian trustee entity, abrdn Australia, scheduled to occur on 1 July 2023.

Commenting on the partnership, MSC group managing director, Matthew Fletcher, said the firm’s “successful appointment” reflects its increasing presence in the institutional fund market.

“We look forward to working with the abrdn team to facilitate a seamless transition for all investors. We also look forward to working with all other parties providing professional services to the funds, including SG Hiscock, Citibank, and Apex Group,” said Mr Fletcher.

“Local and international fund managers have been seeking more from their corporate trust and fund services partners for some time, as they navigate key industry trends such as ever-increasing access to information by investors, competition from globalisation, the rise of private equity and alternative assets, growing investor demand for cross-border investment opportunities, technology and capital structuring flexibility.”

abrdn deputy CEO of APAC, Ian Macdonald, added that by outsourcing the trusteeship and responsible entity duties, abrdn will gain the capacity to focus on bringing its global investment capabilities into Australia in response to the increasingly competitive nature of the market.

“The partnership with MSC Trustees will help us drive efficient, client-led, sustainable growth while maintaining a world-class offering and delivering the best outcomes for Australian investors,” Mr Macdonald said.

“abrdn remains committed to the Australian market through differentiated investment solutions, managed accounts, active ETFs, sustainable investment strategies, and digital advice.”

MSC Trustees confirmed there will be no change in investment strategy, process or team for the abrdn or SGH Funds, nor will there be any change in fees and costs, withdrawal or application processing or client service team.

While the custody and administration of abrdn’s international funds will continue to be serviced by Citibank, the SGH Australian equity funds will be serviced by Apex Group in line with other SG Hiscock managed funds.

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.