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Why Magellan took a punt on Barrenjoey

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By Lachlan Maddock
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2 minute read

Upstart Barrenjoey has the makings of Australia’s next big financial institution, according to Magellan chief executive Brett Cairns and chairman Hamish Douglass.

Magellan pumped a cool $156 million into fledgling investment bank Barrenjoey in September last year, in what chairman Hamish Douglass believes is a sure bet.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in my life, what they’ve done at Barrenjoey in such a short period of time – to put all the infrastructure and licences and technology in place, and then assemble just an extraordinary team of individuals,” Mr Douglass said.

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“I think over the next three years people will be surprised by what that team does. We’re not running it, but we’re so privileged to be associated with those individuals.”

Magellan CEO Brett Cairns also shrugged off news reports that suggested Barrenjoey is essentially UBS Australia 2.0, drawing many of its senior staff from the investment bank. 

“The business has begun extremely well. They’ve managed to build a great deal of the foundations and the key infrastructure that’s required….there’s great diversity within that business, and the quality of that staff is really first class. It’s going to be an extremely high-quality group of people in that business,” Mr Cairns said. 

The Barrenjoey advisory business has already attracted a number of mandates, while David Gonski – erstwhile chairman of ANZ – has agreed to join the board as independent chair. The markets business will go live next quarter, while client onboarding has begun in the equities business. 

“We are very, very excited about the investment in Barrenjoey. It’s moving along at warp speed, it’s getting all the necessary foundational planks in place for what we believe is a very bright future and could develop into a very significant institution over time,” Mr Cairns said.

Why Magellan took a punt on Barrenjoey

Upstart Barrenjoey has the makings of Australia’s next big financial institution, according to Magellan chief executive Brett Cairns and chairman Hamish Douglass.

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