The funds industry is global in design, and reconciling different laws is critical to many transactions, including tax, licensing, securities and reporting requirements. In the last 18 months, the Australian industry has been the subject of many tax and regulatory changes, both in Australia and abroad. With a deep understanding of the changes and their potential impact, our team has helped clients to engage in the debate and prepare for their implementation, including developing new structures and investment vehicles.
Funds are also an important part of Australia’s capital markets. Many of Australia’s major funds have recently restructured and raised capital, and our team has played an important role, including assisting Westfield on its $12bn restructuring, Macquarie Infrastructure on its $5.3bn demerger and Spark Infrastructure on its $1.5bn repositioning. In these transformational transactions, clients benefited from seamless delivery of funds, M&A, Capital Markets and Tax expertise.
With a deep understanding of the retail wealth management sector, we have worked closely with clients in assessing implications of the proposed Future of Financial Advice reforms, particularly implications for product distribution. Our team has advised on the most significant business transformation and product integration projects in the wealth management industry over the past decade, including BT/Westpac/St George, NAB/MLC and more recently Barclays Global Investors/Blackrock.
Drawing on our industry knowledge and experience in dealing with regulators, we regularly assist our clients to bring innovative products to market having been at the forefront of the development of exchange traded funds (ETFs), structured products, AQUA listed products and investment platforms in the Australian market. For example, we advised State Street Global Advisors on the establishment of Australia’s first ETF.
We draw on our understanding of international funds regimes to assist offshore players with their plans for the Asia Pacific region, including advising on the marketing and offering of their funds to local investors and establishing local operations and making local investments. Recently our team assisted Barclays Capital to establish and licence its funds platform and with the launch of its Australian retail funds.
More generally, we have been at the forefront of development in Asian funds.