Euromoney, August 1 2017
In July, National Australia Bank (NAB) agreed to sell 55% of its asset consulting business, Jana, to Jana’s senior management team. It is a move that fits two themes: Australian banks simplifying what they do as return on equity gets harder to achieve and the continuing evolution of one of the world’s largest pension sectors.
Jana is an asset consulting firm with A$350 billion ($280 billion) under advice, most of it for members of Australia’s vast superannuation (pension) fund sector, which was worth A$2.26 trillion on March 31 and is growing by about A$620 million a day.
An advisory investment service for the first 15 years of its existence, in 2002 it launched an implemented consulting operation, which means institutional clients investing through Jana’s internally administered platform.
That bit of the business accounts for about A$32 billion under management, making it the largest implemented consulting business in Australia. Since 2014, Jana has also included MLC Investment Management, which was a portfolio management team responsible for managing funds and platforms at MLC Retail, the wealth management arm of NAB.
Jana is interesting because it is at the heart of the superannuation sector. Apart from its sheer size – one of the biggest asset pools in the world, despite serving a national population of just 23 million – the sector is exceptionally intermediated.