Treasury Group, an Australian boutique asset manager, has hired Peter Walsh to the newly created role of head of retail distribution and Lucinda Hill as distribution associate. Both report to head of distribution Rob Sullivan.

The company is an incubator for fund managers, one of which is based in Singapore -- Treasury Asset Management Asia, which launched in 2007 -- and also has clients in Asia. 

Walsh was previously head of retail for Putnam Investments in Australia, before it cut back its international operations last year during the global financial crisis.

He has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, with particular focus on research and analysis. Prior to joining Putnam, Walsh was an investment specialist at Zurich Financial Services and, before that, senior product manager at Rothschild Australia. 

Hill was previously client services manager at Apostle Asset Management and she left the firm in November. She has also worked for Renaissance Investment Management and Centaurus Capital in the UK, and for Barclays Global Investors in Switzerland in the areas of client management, marketing and sales.

Her role at Treasury Group will be to provide support in its relationships with platform providers, researchers, consultants and advisers, as well as with major clients domestically and internationally.

Like other firms in the Australian asset management industry, the firm plans to continue growing its business outside the country. "Distribution outside Australia has been, and will continue to be, an area of focus for Treasury Group," Sullivan tells AsianInvestor. "Asia is a logical area of opportunity for the business and we already have both fund managers and distribution operating in this area."

"We see good opportunities continuing to present themselves in this market and, with our increased distribution capability, we are expanding our target market coverage," he says. "Treasury Group has built an extensive network of relationships and clients in and outside Australia, with clients in Asia, Europe, the UK, Canada and the US."

The firm's model is to build partnership type relationships with its clients that are long term in nature, says Sullivan.

"The recent expansion in our business, including the acquisition of [Scottish firm] Aubrey Capital Management, AR Capital Management and Celeste Funds Management [the latter two based in Australia], means this is the right time to strengthen our distribution capability on behalf of our boutique asset managers," he says.

"We are also positioning the business for a period of further strong growth where our suite of funds will have particular appeal for investors re-entering investment markets," adds Sullivan. These funds are accessible via Ireland-domiciled Ucits funds, segregated accounts and Australia-domiciled funds.

Treasury Group now has eight investment partners, which between them manage assets of $14.5 billion, as of December 31. Six are based in Australia -- AR Capital, Celeste Funds Management, Global Value Investors, Investors Mutual, Orion Asset Management and Rare Infrastructure -- in addition to Treasury Asia Asset Management in Singapore and Aubrey Capital Management in Edinburgh.