JBWere's NZ boss says relationship close with BNZ, the local arm of its major owner, as alliance renewed with minority owner Goldman Sachs

JBWere's NZ boss says relationship close with BNZ, the local arm of its major owner, as alliance renewed with minority owner Goldman Sachs

By Gareth Vaughan

Wealth manager JBWere, which is 80.1% owned by National Australia Bank, is "as close as can be" with NAB's local arm, Bank of New Zealand, JBWere's New Zealand boss says, as the firm renews its alliance with Goldman Sachs for another three years.

Thomas Alexy, JBWere NZ CEO, told interest.co.nz his firm's alliance with its 19.9% owner Goldman Sachs was poised to be renewed for three years with an option to extend it out another two years to 2017. This will see Goldman continue providing research to JBWere’s adviser network, getting exclusive distribution rights to JBWere’s network for the distribution of equity capital markets products in return.

NAB bought its 80.1% stake for A$99 million (about NZ$125 million) in 2009 from the then Goldman Sachs JBWere, with Goldman retaining the balance.

In New Zealand Alexy said JBWere sources the likes of deposits, loans and foreign exchange from BNZ, works closely with BNZ's private bank, and feeds its investment ideas into BNZ's channels for the bank's clients.

"We are as close as can be," Alexy said of the JBWere-BNZ relationship, adding that he is waiting to see who replaces the departing Tracey Berry - his "counterpart" - as BNZ's head of private banking & wealth.

Alexy said JBWere was "travelling okay."

"We have a very stable business. There has been little or no turnover in the (31 strong) adviser base. We've grown our funds under management from NZ$3.7 billion to NZ$5.7 billion this year (calendar 2012 year) so we're definitely tracking upwards and having a reasonably good year," said Alexy.

On the Goldman Sachs relationship Alexy said it was a very good one for JBWere New Zealand.

"We get all the IP (intellectual property) and the ability to be part of a joint lead when Goldman does have a deal, but we get the counter party risk of a National Australia Bank and the ability to deal with Bank of New Zealand on the ground."

JBWere's Australian-based CEO, Paul Heath, told interest.co.nz in February there were good opportunities in New Zealand for the firm including through the government's plans to sell up to 49% of four state owned enterprises (SOEs) through sharemarket floats. Goldman Sachs is joint lead managers for Mighty River Power, the planned first cab off the SOE float rank, and is also on a panel of six firms that can potentially act as joint lead managers for the other floats.

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