ANZ to go for Asia Pacific Assets

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 20 November, 2009 - 13:52

One of the major Australia based financial institution Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is currently crunching the numbers of AXA Asia Pacific operations in Australia and New Zealand. Mike Smith, the chief executive of the bank is facing a massive challenge to rebrand his ING wealth business along with dealing with the big expenditure in the technology sector in an attempt to improve back office system and platforms for investment. It is to be mentioned that the wealth management business of ANZ requires boosting up its distribution reach especially to the independent financial planners. According to the analysts, these issues are pointing to the potentials of Mr. Smith to go for a rival bid for AXA Asia Pacific, the company which is currently the subject of an AMP and Paris-based AXA SA joint take over bid.

The Australian and New Zealand operations of AXA offer of ready-made solutions to ANZ's branding and other strategic dilemmas something which the ANZ management is finding hard to ignore. Due to contractual reasons, by next August ANZ will have to abandon the ING brand. Under the directions of ING Australia strategy Chief Steve Sheppard, a group of executives are currently working on developing a new brand. It is expected that the team will renamed ANZ Wealth Management or something alike which might not be the safest way to deal with the situation. It is to be mentioned that most of the Australian and overseas intentionally market their insurance and wealth management products under specialist brands as the market research indicates that this approach is more effective.

AXA Asia Pacific is still the owner of the National Mutual brand which was used for around 130 years as the flagship insurance brand of the group in Australia and NZ. If ANZ manages to acquire AXA Asia Pacific, it would be able to deal with the re-branding in its home markets and Asia and also will appear as the largest distributor of retail investment products in Australia.