Shaw Plans to Hire Up to 30 Australian Private Wealth Advisers

Shaw Stockbroking Ltd. plans to hire as many as 30 private-wealth advisers across Australia as its new head of wealth management seeks more business from pension savers and rich investors.

Earl Evans has added six advisers, including Tony Doyle from Macquarie Group Ltd. and David Wells from Baillieu Holst Ltd., since joining as the firm’s head of wealth management three months ago. Evans said he’s seeking to have 150 to 160 advisers in coming months, from about 130 people now. He declined to give a more specific timeframe.

Shaw, which started as a brokerage in 1987, now gets about 75 percent of revenue from wealth management and oversees A$10 billion ($7.8 billion) in client assets. It’s expanding as overseas firms pull back in Australia, with UBS Group AG said to plan to close its wealth-management unit and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. saying in February it would shut its offices. Evans, who previously ran Macquarie’s private-wealth business in Canada, says the collapse of Shaw’s competitor BBY Ltd. shows the pitfalls of seeking to grow too fast.

“You’ve got to keep it simple,” Evans said in an interview in Sydney on Monday. “We’re not wanting to be all things to all people, we’re not wanting to be a goliath. We want something that is national, has critical mass, but is small enough to still be specialized.”

BBY, a brokerage and wealth manager, entered administration last week after negotiations to raise capital fell through. It had expanded into options trading and also owns shares in a Johannesburg-listed coalminer that’s suspended from trade, the Australian reported May 16.

Australia’s pension assets will swell by about half to A$3 trillion by the end of this decade, according to Deloitte estimates.

Shaw has about 220 staff across offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, said Evans. The firm will next month unveil a new name: Shaw & Partners, he said.

“Yes, we still do stock broking and we don’t want to move away from that,” Evans said. “But we’re bringing in more of a broader offering for clients.”

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