Earlier this year, we held our first AdventConnect events in Australia – the first of what we hope to be many. It was a chance for people in the investment industry to get to know Advent a little better, and for our management team to get a closer look at a market where we have a small but growing presence.
In Sydney, we hosted a reception at the Establishment Hotel (you’ll find it listed, appropriately, on the “Hip Hotels” website). Savanth Sebastian, an equities economist at Commonwealth Bank, gave a terrific presentation on the state of the Australian economy. I was really struck by the parallels he drew between Australia’s housing market today and that of the US in 2007, when the bubble burst. Housing price growth hit an 18-year high this year and is widely viewed as unsustainable, but Savanth thinks a growing supply of new homes will cool things down.
Nikki Bentley, a partner in the law firm Henry Davis York, spoke from firsthand experience about the challenges fund managers face navigating the local regulatory climate. She talked about the new Investment Manger Regime (IMR3) and the impact it is likely to have on traditional hedge funds, specifically that they may lose their beneficial tax treatment if their current ownership structures don’t meet the new requirements. Hedge fund reform appears to be as big an issue in Australia as it is in the EU and the US.
The topic that sparked a lot of lively interaction was the cloud and the future of financial services. Industry experts from Eze Software, MSCI, and Matsco Solutions joined us for a panel discussion and fielded a wide range of questions. There is quite a bit of interest in cloud computing in Australia, in part because there aren’t enough skilled IT professionals to fill the demand within financial firms. The consensus was pretty clear that the cloud will likely be widely adopted sooner rather than later.
Two nights later we held a more intimate dinner at the Taxi Kitchen overlooking Melbourne’s Yarra River. Though the format was less structured, the conversation was no less engaging.
I’m looking forward to more interaction with our Australian clients, colleagues, and prospects. This was my first visit to the country, and based on the welcome we received, I’m confident it won’t be my last.
Anthony is chartered with making sure our customer base of well over 4,000 clients get the full value of their relationship with Advent through superior service and support. His teams are responsible for implementation, product adoption, training, support, ongoing account management, and renewal sales.