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Perpetual sheds corporate trust business in management buy-out

Friday 28th September 2012

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Pyne Gould Corp-owned Perpetual Group has shed its corporate trust unit in a management buy-out for an undisclosed sum. Perpetual risk management executive Kim von Lanthen has bought the corporate trust business, which supervises almost 300 entities including KiwiSaver funds, retirement villages, securities issuers and managed funds, and his new entity will operate as Foundation Corporate Trust.

Perpetual will retain responsibility for entities that are in receivership or liquidation, though Foundation will manage those on commercial terms. Perpetual's former head of corporate trust Matt Lancaster will take on the managing director role, and former Pyne Gould chairman Sam Maling will head the board as an independent chair.

Von Lanthen will take the remaining director's role. "We're a separate, standalone entity completely focused on corporate trust activity," Maling told a media briefing in Auckland. "It's our intention to bring in other shareholders - maybe key members of our staff." Maling declined to give the consideration paid, saying Foundation is a privately-held company.

The Financial Markets Authority has issued a statutory supervisor's licence to Foundation and granted a limited licence to Perpetual for particular entities it continues to supervise. Perpetual was one of three statutory supervisors left hanging last week after the FMA licensed nine other operators.

Pyne Gould had previously said it would divest the Perpetual unit as it winds down its New Zealand operations. Lancaster said he expects "little or no interruption" for clients, and anticipates Perpetual's corporate trust staff will join the new firm. Pyne Gould's shares were unchanged at 31 cents.

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