07/12/2020 - 15:53

WA Super team forms consultancy

07/12/2020 - 15:53

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A new investment consultancy has kicked off in Perth with heavyweight backing, with Wyllie Group and other clients giving it more than $1 billion in funds under advice.

WA Super team forms consultancy
Mark Foo (left), Chris West and Chris McAlpine.

A new investment consultancy has kicked off in Perth with heavyweight backing, with Wyllie Group and other clients giving it more than $1 billion in funds under advice.

Context Capital has been established by former WA Super chief investment officer Chris West and two members of his old team, Chris McAlpine and Mark Foo.

It will focus on providing wholesale investment advice to private wealth firms, financial advice practices and family offices.

Mr West said it filled a gap between institutional asset consultants, such as JANA, Mercer and Frontier, and retail advisers.

To help fill the gap, Context has formed a partnership with Frontier.

“We believe that by combining our strategic partnership with Frontier, the right technology investment and a nimble approach, we will deliver contextual institutional grade solutions to a much broader set of clients than has been served by traditional models,” Mr West said.

Context has launched today with four foundation clients representing over $1 billion in funds under advice.

They include one of WA’s largest family offices, Wyllie Group, along with financial advisory firms Empire Financial Group and Bruining Partners.

Context taps into the trend for advice firms to shift away from institutional dealer groups towards self-licensing.

“Our value proposition to a wealth firm is three-fold,” Mr West said.

“We provide institutional grade service, we only construct bespoke solutions and we have a strategic focus away from the traditional financial centres of Sydney and Melbourne.”

Mr West said there were already quite a few wholesale consulting firms targeting a similar opportunity in Sydney and Melbourne but not in Perth or Adelaide.

The new business has a powerful advisory panel that includes former WA Super chief executive Fabian Ross, investment professional Sharon Hicks and former Bunnings executive Bianca Starcevich.

It has been established shortly after the merger of WA Super and Sydney-based Aware Super was finalised.

Mr West said he and his team had been evaluating this opportunity for about two years and the merger was the trigger for acting now.

He is aimiung to offer a similar service in South Australia.

Frontier chief executive Andrew Polson said the emerging private wealth segment was an area of potential growth for his firm.

“Partnering with Context Capital provides us with an exciting opportunity to deliver our institutional-grade advice to investors in these segments.” 

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