Handley steers merger with Mason Stevens

THE former long-serving Westpac financial director, Pat Handley, is set to emerge as executive chairman of $400 million wealth management house Mason Stevens.

THE former long-serving Westpac financial director, Pat Handley, is set to emerge as executive chairman of $400 million wealth management house Mason Stevens.

The move follows a return to wealth management for Mr Handley after the launch last year of 2020 Funds Management with former top Commonwealth Bank markets executive Vincent Hua.

Mr Handley will fold his 2020 group into wealth management house Mason Stevens. The merged entity will target the cashed-up self-managed super funds sector as well as independent financial planners.

"People in the self-managed space start out saying 'I'd like to do it myself'," Mr Handley said yesterday. "They later realise it's tough and they start to need some help. Actually, they need someone with a little more than advice, they need a plan.

"We carry them through the life cycle of what they have."

Self-managed super investors can access the Mason Stevens wealth platform to run their investments in shares and fixed income as part of a managed account.

This allows super fund investors to own the underlying asset directly rather than unit prices of fund.

Like large wholesale super funds, this gives investors direct access to trading strategies across asset classes that are not normally available to retail investors. This includes government, semi-government and corporate bonds as well as commodities.

Figures released this week show that about $408 billion is held in self-managed superannuation accounts, which make up a third of the total superannuation pool.

In the early 1990s, Mr Handley was brought in to Westpac as finance director along with Bob Joss as part of the team to turn the bank around following its near-death financial loss.

Before joining Westpac he was the finance director of Bank One in Chicago, a lender that was ultimately folded into JP Morgan.

Mason Stevens' managing director, Thomas Bignill, will take up the role of chief executive of the merged entity.

Mr Hua will become chief investment officer.