BT CEO on firm’s next plans for platform business

BT platforms westpac BT Panorama mercer

22 June 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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BT chief executive, Matt Rady, believes the “BT of today is very different to BT three months ago” thanks to several parts of the business moving to Mercer as the firm opts to retain its platform business.

Yesterday, Westpac announced it had concluded its sale process but ultimately decided to retain the platform business.

“Westpac will retain and continue to invest in the business including the development of features to improve the adviser and investor experience, as well as the ongoing simplification and improved efficiency of its operations,” it said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The sale process for BT’s wealth management platform had been ongoing since February 2022 and potential interested parties include AMP, HUB24, and Netwealth. However, the main rival had been Colonial First State, backed by US private equity firm KKR.

Speaking to Money Management, Rady said: “It took a lot longer than anyone would have seen as ideal, but we felt it was important to do it right and we had a lot of interest which was exciting but we couldn’t reach an agreement. 

“As a consequence of that, Westpac sees an amazing opportunity to invest in the business for years to come and recognise the strength we have in the market.”

He highlighted now the sale process had concluded, this left BT and Westpac “free of distractions” and able to focus on improving the service.

“We can just get on and enable quality financial advice to thrive and focus on making what we invest in is things that help advisers and enable them to become more efficient and enabling more people to achieve their financial goals,” he said.

The current state of the business looked very different to the one at the start of the sale process, he said. Since it began, BT had exited its superannuation business in selling it to Mercer in early April and also exited its BT Advance Asset Management business, also to Mercer.

As well of these, BT’s $1.9 billion Private Portfolio Management business, which is an individually managed account (IMA) service, will also transition to Mercer later on this year.

“We are a platform business and BT today is very different three months ago. BT has been in life insurance, advice, self-managed superannuation funds, in the business of retail and corporate super, and the consequence of that is now we have made it a much simpler business,” he said.

“The catalyst was the move of our retail and corporate superannuation business to Mercer and the sale of Advance and that means we are exclusively a platforms business. From that perspective, we can get on with the job of helping advisers become more efficient.”

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Submitted by Ben Dover on Thu, 2023-06-22 16:58

Sounds like no takers for a terrible business hemorrhaging funds. No one wants to buy a beaten dog that can't walk.

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