Pendal winds down Westpac in $19b deal for Mainstream

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Mainstream, the listed global funds, registry and super admin company, has secured a five-year contract with Pendal, the also-listed former Westpac global funds management subsidiary. The deal, when consummated, will push Mainstream over the $200 billion mark for funds under administration.

It has taken Pendal several years to unwind its multifarious operational relationships with its old parent. One of the reasons it has been able to take its time is that Westpac, which has offered low-cost standalone custodian services in the past, is actually quite cost effective in the admin space. The next major job is to review its various global custodian arrangements across Australia, the UK and US, involving five separate custodial agreements. That would be a project taking close to two years from start to finish.

Under the latest arrangement, Mainstream will provide registry services for Pendal’s Australian funds, with about $19 billion of assets under management, as well as Mainstream’s existing operating mode, including deployment of automated workflow for email and paper transactions, online transacting, XPLAN reporting, Calastone, banking automation and the newly created ‘quoted funds functionality’. Pendal has about A$86 billion in funds under management globally.

Martin Smith, Mainstream chief executive, said: “We are proud to support a client of the size and calibre of Pendal with our scale and experience in registry services. We have made significant investments in our registry services over the last three years and look forward to partnering with Pendal to drive automation and the investor experience.” The Pendal deal represents 6 per cent of Mainstream’s Australian revenue and 3 per cent of its group (global) revenue.

Justin Howell, COO at Pendal Australia, said: “We were impressed with the robustness of Mainstream’s registry solution as well as the calibre of their clients. We are focused on minimising risk while improving our operational efficiency and enhancing our investor’s experience. We look forward to working with Mainstream to achieve this.”
The transition of Pendal’s register of unitholders from Westpac will require a close working relationship between the two companies over the coming months. Completion is expected by March 2021.

– G.B.

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