SSGA bolsters Findex investment line-up


By Julie May

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Financial advisory and accounting giant Findex Group has appointed State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) to provide tactical asset allocation and advisory services for the business, which comprises $15 billion in funds under management, following its recent acquisition of Crowe Horwath Australasia.

As part of the deal, SSGA will also work with Findex Group’s internal investment team across all brands under the group’s banner, which in addition to Crowe Horwath include Financial Index Wealth Accountants, Centric Wealth, Movo, Civic Financial Planning and Prescott Securities.

Findex chief investment officer Kieran Canavan said the relationship with SSGA was designed to streamline Findex’s business structure and operating model, and followed a rigorous review of its research needs.

“This review of administration, investment and asset allocation research and consulting support was part of our overall investment and compliance framework and ties in with our recent acquisition of Crowe Horwath,” Canavan said.

“[SSGA’s] multi-faceted approach to researching investment opportunities ultimately makes our investment and compliance framework much stronger and will deliver better investment outcomes for our clients.”

SSGA managing director of business development Peter Mitchell said as one of the largest institutional asset managers in the world, SSGA had significant global experience and resources in providing asset allocation solutions to a diverse client base.

“This experience, together with our extensive tactical asset allocation skills, will help tailor solutions to meet the needs of, and add value to, Findex’s clients,” Mitchell said.

Canavan said Findex was constantly looking at ways to improve the business, which included bringing certain operations in-house, such as managed discretionary account administration and research.

“SSGA will help Findex Group determine the best mix of assets and investment styles to ensure they are cost effective and deliver reliable, consistent performance,” he said.

Meanwhile, he told financialobserver if more acquisitions took place, the group was now even better placed to manage scale and integration following the appointment of SSGA and other experts.

He pointed to the group’s announcement in April that former MLC chief investment officer and now independent financial adviser Chris Condon and one-time OptiMix chief investment officer Emmanuel Calligeris had joined the group’s investment committee.

Also, former Philo Capital Advisers portfolio manager Stefano Cavaglia, who is best known for his work in relation to the restructuring of UBS Asset Management’s global equity investment process, was named the new head of investment research in February.

“Whenever you acquire new businesses you need to assess approved investment lists, see if and where there are potential landmines and also look at where asset allocation methodologies differ,” Canavan told financialobserver.

“Going forward, we want a consistent house view and that’s why we’ve spent a lot of time looking at how our investment committee structure works and what internal and external elements feed into that so that we can bring those methodologies together.”

He said those components, in addition to big name appointments, were important to ensure the group was accountable for its decision-making, and at the same time could build scale, intellectual property and external oversight to manage multiple groups.

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