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Fight for staff prompts BT float

By Reporter
 — 1 minute read
BT Investment Management business to float.
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nt haemorrhaging of staff across the funds management industry was a major driver for the proposed partial float of BT Investment Management.

Westpac Banking group announced yesterday it intends to list part of its investment managing arm, creating a new listed company that will retain the BT brand.

According to BT Financial Group chief executive Rob Coombe the new and as yet unnamed entity will offer incentives, such as the provision of options, to existing and potential investment staff.

"It creates a compelling model that will attract new talent into this business," Coombe said.

BT Financial has had its fair share of staff disappearing acts this year with head of alternative investments, Richard Keary and Australian shares portfolio manager Troy Angus both resigning.

The new listed company, which is to retain the BT brand, will see Westpac/BT Financial Group retain a majority stake, with equity also held by BT investment professionals, institutions and Westpac shareholders.

"We believe that our model will create the best of both worlds: the quality alignment of a boutique and the support of an institutional model such as Westpac," Coombe said.

Coombe said the new entity will include four mini boutiques in the business. He said the boutiques will not operate as traditional fund manager boutiques but will offer separate investment divisions.

"Each boutique is responsible for their costs. This will be a major driver for investment professionals," Coombe said.

Coombe said the new entity will have an independent chairman and director, with the current leader of the business, Dirk Morris, taking the reins as chief executive.

Westpac chief executive David Morgan said yesterday's announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange follows a review of the group's wealth management strategy.

"Investment management is central to wealth strategy. we needed a new operating model. In reviewing the option, a new entity and partial floating was the best option," Morgan said.

"We've seen a rise in boutique fund managers, brand names in investment management undergoing significant attrition, and some cases whole teams have departed.

"We needed a new model that secured the best talent in the market," he said.
Fight for staff prompts BT float
BT Investment Management business to float.
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