RBC I&TS parts ways with its Aussie boss

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RBC Investor & Treasury Services has replaced its Australian managing director, David Travers, after 10 years with the firm. The top position has been filled, at least in the interim, by Andy Allen from the firm’s Singapore office.

Travers, who also had a two-year role as head of Asia Pacific for RBC I&TS over 2012-2013, is a former managing director of State Street Australia’s asset servicing arm, where he spent nine years. Travers was on ‘gardening leave’ as of last week and said he could not say anything about the move.

An RBC spokesperson in Sydney issued a brief statement on Friday afternoon: “We are aligning our Australian business with our global organisation to create strong connections across the region and to ensure a consistent delivery of client service. Australia remains a key country in RBC I&TS’ specialist strategy.”

Andy Allen was recruited from JP Morgan Investor Services, in 2014, as managing director of its Singapore business. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry.

RBC seems to like going to JP Morgan for its talent. The firm in Australia, under Travers, boosted its senior executive team in late 2017 with the recruitment of David Brown and Marian Azer from JP Morgan which involved a restructure at the top including a move to a more relationship-orientated approach to potential new business rather than traditional sales.

Prior to then, RBC had been engaged in an ongoing big systems change from Hi-Portfolio, an Australian and UK backoffice system, with the worldwide Multifonds system, used by most other RBC jurisdictions. Such changes are often difficult because of the complexity of Australia’s tax system. JP Morgan also had some difficulty when it tried to replace a part of its Hi-Portfolio system in Australia, with an in-house-built system, several years ago.

Azer, a former consultant at Mercer Sentinel, was head of product at JP Morgan and Brown was a senior relationship manager. Brown became head of client coverage for Australia and Azer’s appointment followed shortly after as head of product for Asia Pacific and COO for client coverage. With the latest move, Brown will now also report into the global structure.

RBC set up in Australia in 2001 after buying the custody and admin arm of Perpetual Trustees. RBC has maintained Perpetual as a client subsequently, with the most recent contract renegotiations successfully concluded in 2016.

RBC is the only custodian in Australasia that specialises in services for fund managers, not super funds.

– G.B.

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