Australian financial services companies should embrace a regional mindset and become players in the Asia Pacific, according to life insurance veteran, Rob Macpherson.
Macpherson said the self-imposed absence and withdrawal by Australia’s leading financial institutions were lost opportunities with long-term ramifications.
He said instead of expanding overseas, the Australian industry “devoured itself”, leaving only the big four banks and AMP to remain.
“Not only did we lose long established groups like Colonial, Norwich, Scottish Amicable, Legal & General, T & G, Prudential, National Mutual, etc. – but in the consolidation process the ventures and operating licenses in Asia were jettisoned,” he said.
Looking to the future, Macpherson said there was still a place for Australian financial services expertise and know how in the Asia Pacific, particularly in “rising star” nations like Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar and Vietnam.