Trust and performance. Those two watchwords were on the minds of hundreds of institutional investors, pension fund owners, financial advisers, and private clients across the world when they heard that the global asset management firm with US$180 billion of their investments would change ownership in August 2019.
That’s when Sydney-based First Sentier Investors was acquired by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).
First Sentier Investors CFO Suzanne Evans recently shared at Workday Elevate Asia why she hung on to those two watchwords as well. “My challenges were to provide our clients with complete confidence in our continued competence and performance in handling their investments while also providing stability to our global organization, which has more than 800 employees in 11 offices across nine countries,” she said.
A Liberating New Chapter
But those weren’t Evans’ only concerns. The radical ownership change—from a multinational bank based in Australia to a global, financial juggernaut based in Tokyo—required First Sentier Investors to stand up new systems across the entire organization. “If we were renovating a house, we didn’t just remodel the kitchen and a couple bathrooms; it was a complete knockdown and rebuild,” she said.