First Sentier Investors – Infrastructure Investments

The COVID-19 global pandemic provided a ‘natural test’ for the structures and procedures created by Sydney-based global fund and asset manager, First Sentier Investors (FSI — and previously known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management) in conjunction with ETOS.

“ETOS provided back office support seamlessly during the lockdown period,” commented FSI Infrastructure Investments Senior Treasury Manager, Siu Chan. “There were no performance issues while we were operating in a fully work-from-home environment. This really demonstrated that we had created a truly resilient back office that was not dependent upon physical location.”

No material change to operations

“ETOS and the team were continuously in place to support us, offering full integrity of control and procedures including independent review of reporting and segregation of duties. Our Senior Management carried out weekly reviews of operational risk during this period of unprecedented disruptions and, when asked, our business unit could consistently report no material change to our operations as a result of COVID-19. We are very pleased with that result.”

Sydney-based global fund and asset manager, First Sentier Investors, has a client base that extends across Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America, investing over A$228.5 billion across infrastructure, equities, fixed income, and multi-asset solutions.

Systems expertise & high quality reporting

In 2017, after developing a new corporate structure to become a standalone entity, FSI Infrastructure Investments identified that outsourcing their treasury back office services and support presented a cost effective way to capture the experience and compliance required for the highly compliance driven business – and ETOS was the gold standard.

FSI Infrastructure Investments needed a provider that was capable of providing systems expertise and a high level of quality reporting that could meet the stringent due diligence and compliance requirements of an international organisation. Outsourcing also added strength to FSI Infrastructure Investments’ business continuity planning.

“Due to the nature of our business, we have a lot of internal controls,” explained Siu. “Above and beyond those you’d expect in a typical corporate environment. Shortly after implementing our treasury system in 2018, we experienced significant front office staff changes, which presented a number of challenges. ETOS worked with us to create appropriate controls and procedures, providing continuity and the necessary segregation to avoid key person risk. We’ve come a long way in the past 2 ½ years and ETOS is firmly part of our team.”

If you’d like to discuss treasury back office outsourcing, give us a call .