Like all businesses, growth and development is part organic, and partly about smart strategic acquisitions. Equity Trustees is no different – our FY18 Results demonstrated a strong organic growth story in all core business areas.
But over the years, we’ve made some important acquisitions purchases to pave the way for future development. Some of them have brought with them links to great heritage stories – and others have opened the door to developing a new angle on our specialist trustee capability.
In 2017, Equity Trustees acquired the majority share in a London-based funds governance company which aligned with our corporate fiduciary business in Australia. Already a market leader in our home country, the time was right to test our global aspirations and this purchase provided a solid platform to grow our fiduciary services business in the $US70 trillion global funds management industry.
It was a calculated move which recognised the global nature of the services for funds managers, which are themselves increasingly seeking seamless service providers as they launch funds in a variety of jurisdictions.
Early in 2018, we again expanded the corporate fiduciary side of the business with the completion of the acquisition of the Responsible Entity business of OneVue Holdings, which delivered 28 managed investment schemes with about $2.7 billion in funds under supervision to Equity Trustees.
Also in 2017, a purchase aligned with the private client side of the business – providing estate planning, executor and trust management services – was secured with the acquisition of the Sandhurst Trustees Estates and Trusts business from the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
It was a smooth integration with alignment between services, culture and values, aided by a shared heritage – both were established in 1888 during the Victorian gold rushes to serve the same kinds of customers and had the same legislated responsibilities.
Four years earlier in 2014, Equity Trustees’ market share was substantially enhanced with the acquisition of ANZ Trustees. It was a proof point for Equity Trustees that similar organisational and cultural values were essential for smooth integration. This purchase had historical significance – ANZ Trustees was formed in 1983 with the purchase of the Trustees Executors and Agency Co, the first trustee company formed in Australia in 1879.
In 2003, Equity Trustees acquired Wealthpac Access Master Trust bringing 7,600 members under our superannuation trusteeship, while a 2011 purchase sharpened Equity Trustees focus on specialised advice in wealth management and estate planning arrangements for those approaching supported care due to ageing.
The strength of Equity Trustees as a contemporary trustee company is our ability to grow organically and adapt to emerging customer requirements – but also our confidence to identify and seize opportunities through acquisition – without losing sight of our vision to be Australia’s leading specialist trustee company.