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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BMO Global's Branching Down Under

Reported by Nicole Spector

BMO Global Asset Management[profile] is opening its first office Down Under.

The firm, which has had clientele in Australia since 2004, is upping its Aussie ante with a new Melbourne spot designed to focus on sales and accommodating Australia's institutional investors.

Barry McInerney, co-CEO of BMO Global, says that the firm deemed it important to "be on the ground in Australia"—a country that requires all its citizens to invest in a retirement plan.

Australia currently leads the world in money invested in managed funds per capita, and the country's pension system is the fourth largest in the world, McInerney says.

Ravi Sriskandarajah will head the new branch in what McInerney anticipates will be a healthy expansion.

If BMO Global's track record is anything to go by, growth can be expected; when opening doors in the middle east 18 months ago, the division had $500 million in AUM in the region. Now, it has $1.5 billion.

Company Press Release

BMO Global Asset Management Expands Into Australia

MELBOURNE, TORONTO, and CHICAGO- June 25, 2013 - BMO Financial Group today announced that it will be establishing a base for its institutional asset management business in Melbourne, Australia, operating as BMO Global Asset Management.  The proposed office will focus on sales and serving the needs of Australia’s institutional investors.  BMO Financial Group has had a presence in Australia since 2004, when BMO Capital Markets Limited opened a representative office in Melbourne offering investment and corporate banking services to global clients doing business in the Asia Pacific region.

“With BMO’s growing presence in Asia Pacific, we can offer our current and potential clients more investment options to choose from and easier access to our global network and wide breadth of expertise,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. “Australia is a dynamic market that holds tremendous potential. This is a great opportunity to expand our existing relationships with investors, as well as build new, long-term partnerships.”

“Australians have more money invested in managed funds per capita than any other economy so there’s tremendous upside for our asset management business in the region,” said Barry McInerney, Co-CEO, BMO Global Asset Management.  “Since the Australian superannuation system was made mandatory in 1992, it has grown significantly and is the fourth largest in the world.” 

McInerney noted that, with the opening of the BMO Global Asset Management office, Australian investors will benefit through greater access to a world-class team of asset managers and a group of professionals committed to service excellence. 

To lead BMO Global Asset Management’s efforts in Australia, the organization has appointed Ravi Sriskandarajah as Managing Director, BMO Global Asset Management. Mr. Sriskandarajah has more than 15 years of asset management experience and was most recently Head of Institutional Distribution in Australia for one of the world’s largest asset managers.  Mr. Sriskandarajah will be based out of Melbourne and will spend a significant amount of time in Sydney as well.  He will represent an expert team of multi-disciplined asset managers based in Toronto and Chicago, and a global network of investment specialist boutiques based in Miami, Toronto, London, Mumbai, and Hong Kong.

BMO Global Asset Management’s expansion into Australia follows the 2012 opening of an office in Abu Dhabi.  BMO Global Asset Management’s assets under management have grown from USD $466 million to more than USD $1.5 billion (as of May 31, 2013) in the Middle East and North African regions in just 18 months. 

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