ANZ seeks expressions of interest for wealth

05-Apr-2017

By Sarah Kendell

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ANZ would issue an information memorandum to interested parties in relation to the sale of its wealth business imminently, but was unlikely to make a final decision on a potential buyer for the business this year, according to chief executive Shayne Elliott.

In an interview for the bank’s BlueNotes digital publication, Elliott said ANZ was determined to find a buyer with the right “cultural fit”, and as such was happy to take its time in the sale process.

“We’re not just putting a ‘for sale’ sign up … we’re seeking to really form a partnership for a very long period of time with an operator that we feel comfortable with and who wants to do the right thing by customers,” he said.

“That’s going to take a bit of time to get to know people, so it’s something that we will be looking at.”

He confirmed the bank would be putting out an information memorandum to interested parties “shortly”, which would “craft out a starting point for discussion” with potential buyers.

“What we will be saying is that we want to learn and be open to the best way we can service our customers and we want to be the best at this in Australia, so we have to keep an open mind in terms of how that might look in terms of detail,” he said.

While wealth would remain a core component of conversations the bank had with customers, it would look to outsource manufacturing and supply of wealth products as a result of the sale, he said.

“We want to be talking to customers about wealth solutions, about protecting the things that are important to them and about saving for their retirement, so we’re still going to be in the business, we will just be doing it with a partner who will be world class,” he said.

“We have an obligation to provide these solutions to our customers – we’re a natural place that they can come and have a conversation about that. But that doesn’t mean we need to be actually manufacturing the product.”

He said he expected the bank’s future partnership model around wealth to be unique in Australia’s predominantly vertically integrated market.

“It’s new, it’s a little bit different – there are other parts of the world that are very comfortable in this partnership model, but here in Australia and for ANZ, we’re going to keep an open mind,” he said.

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