Sighs of relief with BNP Paribas appointment
Daniel Cheever, most recently State Street’s head of global services, including institutional business, started at BNP Paribas this week. He said on Wednesday (September 14) that it was too early to speak about his strategic approach but that there would continue to be a strong emphasis on working with existing clients.
AMP, which is continuing to restructure and has divested itself of several businesses in recent years, is BNP Paribas’ biggest client. BNP Paribas acquired Cogent Investment Administration, a former AMP company, in 2003. Alexis George, the current AMP chief executive, was involved in that deal and became the head of BNP Paribas Securities Services in Australia for a while.
Cheever said he was also keen to see BNP Paribas’ leadership position in core custody services – sometimes called sub or domestic custody – maintained as well as its strong position in the New Zealand market, where the firm has about 15-20 clients.
His new role had been vacant since last December, following the planned resignation of David Braga, another experienced Australian asset servicing manager, who had been at BNP Paribas for six years and, before that, 14 years at J.P. Morgan.
Braga has recently joined a small consulting business, Jefferson & Shea, which includes as lead consultants two other well-known industry faces: former fund chief executive Peter Murphy, chief of Christian Super; and tax lawyer Raewyn Williams, previously at implementation specialist manager Parametric.
BNP Paribas has in the past been inclined to appoint experienced asset servicing managers from Paris headquarters to its Australasian role, but as with Braga’s previous appointment, and before him that of Peter Baker, staff and clients tend to be more comfortable with a local.
Cheever reports to regional head of securities services, Franck Dubois, based in Singapore, and chief executive of BNP Paribas bank, Karine Delvallée, in Sydney.
His departure from State Street followed a restructure for the group globally, which involved a move away from product-focused distribution strategies to a more holistic approach. Last October the firm recruited Tim Helyer, who had spent 18 years at J.P. Morgan, to the new role of Australia country head. Cheever’s institutional business role was merged into it.
Helyer’s appointment also coincided with the departure from State Street of Sinclair Scholfield after 18 years there, most recently as head of platform sales. That move was unrelated to the restructure, with Scholfield taking up a new role as head of sales and client management at HSBC. HSBC is the largest core custodian operating in Australia by a wide margin, though BNP Paribas has won more new business than any of its competitors over the past two years.
Cheever is also a former director of industry body ACSA, including a key role in regulatory committee work, but he said he had no immediate plans to re-join the board because of the workload involved.
He also has family pedigree in the industry. His father Paul Cheever is a former managing director of Russell Investments in Australia who was also, in 1997-2000, the first executive officer of what is now Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, then known as CSS PSS (the two public sector defined benefit schemes).