Colonial First State rebrands as First Sentier Investors

The rebranding coincides with the sale of the Australian fund manager to Mitsubishi UFJ, which closed last month.

Colonial First State Global Asset Management has rebranded as First Sentier Investors after its split from owner Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The rebrand comes following the completion last month of the sale of the business from CBA to Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corporation.

The name change takes effect immediately in the business’s home market of Australia because of a “more pressing need to distinguish the business from the remaining assets under CBA ownership”, the firm said in a statement, with the rebrand rolling out across other regions next year.

The business is currently known as First State Investments outside Australia, sharing the acronym with the new name.

MUTB purchased CFSGAM in October 2018 for A$4.13 billion, a multiple of 17.5x CFSGAM’s FY18 net-profit after tax of A$236 million ($2.8 billion; €2.6 billion).

The Japanese bank owns a stake in another Australian asset manager, AMP Capital, acquiring a 15 percent stake in that business in 2011 for A$425 million.

First Sentier chief executive Mark Steinberg said the new name was chosen because ‘sentier’, the French word for path, helps reflect the company’s “commitment to follow our own path”.

“We want to come together under one global brand name for the interests of our clients and our employees, and we want a name that allows the business to maintain a link to our origins, while also signalling our vision for the future,” Steinberg said in a statement.

First Sentier had assets under management of A$222.7 billion as at 30 June 2019, with clients in Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America.

The rebrand coincides with the firm’s formal move out of CBA’s offices in central Sydney to the Barangaroo district.

Equities managers Stewart Investors, FSSA Investment Managers and Realindex, all part of First Sentier, will continue to operate under those brand names, the firm said.