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JBWere Optimistic About Growth After NAB Becomes Shareholder

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 29 NZPA - JBWere, the private wealth management business of which Bank of New Zealand's parent is purchasing 80.1 percent, aims to grow in New Zealand.

National Australia Bank, NAB, the Australian parent of BNZ, has agreed to acquire 80.1 percent of Goldman Sachs JBWere's private wealth management business in Australia and New Zealand, which will be branded JBWere, with Goldman Sachs JBWere retaining the remaining 19.9 percent.

A BNZ spokesman said the bank welcomed the acquisition and would be working with NAB colleagues in the next few weeks to work out what it meant for New Zealand.

The rest of Goldman Sachs JBWere in New Zealand, effectively the investment banking business, continues to operate under the leadership of Andrew Barclay.

JBWere chief executive John Cobb said the business would be run as a stand-alone entity from NAB, which had a good track record of owning such businesses.

Access to Goldman Sachs JBWere products, services and research had been maintained by agreements.

"The reason we have done this is to enhance our growth prospects and to position our business to ensure that we maximise the opportunities that are ahead of us," he said.

Private wealth management businesses generally grew by attracting new clients or by selling a wider range of products to existing clients.

"We think this delivers opportunities in both those areas," Mr Cobb said.

The wealth management business targets so-called high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals.

Being owned by a bank is expected to bring the business referrals and access to a wider range of services. NAB, as a bank, has a government guarantee.

NAB will outlay $A99 ($NZ126) million for JBWere, with additional performance related consideration payable dependent on revenues generated by the business over a period of three years. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

The business model is seen as similar to the ownership of Coutts by Royal Bank of Scotland.

An issue is whether high net worth individuals serviced by BNZ will migrate to the JBWere business.


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