13 Feb

'City of London courts Aussie fund managers' ALEKS VICKOVICH, Investor Daily

Speaking at an Australian British Chamber of Commerce event in Sydney yesterday, lord mayor Charles Bowman said the Australian funds management industry should not be spooked by the UK’s inevitable withdrawal from the European Union.

“We would like to see greater collaboration between Australian and British asset management,” Mr Bowman said. “Britain is very much open for business.”

The Lord Mayor, who is the 690th individual to hold the office and also serves as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, said the city’s bourse should be particularly attractive.

“The city boasting the world’s most international stock exchange, the [London Stock Exchange], is a perfect launching pad for managers searching for overseas investment opportunities,” he said.

He also spruiked the advantages of listing on the LSE, heralding the 26 Australian companies that have already done so to a market capitalisation of £12 billion.

AustralianSuper’s foray into the UK market and backing of the King’s Cross restoration project is an example of the types of initiative that may appeal to other managers down under, he said.

The mayoral visit to Australia – just the 10th of its kind in the city’s 800-year history – comes alongside a research report his office commissioned that lists asset management as a key target for international collaboration, as well as fintech and green finance.

Australian banks Macquarie, CBA and ANZ are already working on green finance initiatives in consultation with the City of London, the mayor said, adding that the topic is obviously a “high priority for Australian financial services”.

In relation to Australia’s fintech industry, Mr Bowman said the country is hoarding “tremendous talent” and that he expects to see continued growth in the burgeoning sector.

“Australia’s fintech sector is flourishing,” he said. “We look forward to seeing more collaboration.”

Mr Bowman said Sydney is well-placed to grow as a global fintech hub as London has done. 

“The sunny city is a perfect match for London’s fintech centre,” he said.

A number of UK funds management and technology executives have joined the lord mayor’s delegation, which will also visit Canberra and Melbourne. 

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