CitiStreet will be launching its first non-domestic services in Australia this month. To facilitate the extension of its retirement benefit services to Australia, CitiStreet will acquire the back office administration business of SunGards Australian unit, SunGard Employee Benefit System (SEBS).
Gary Cox, currently CEO of SEBS in Australia, will become managing director of the new company and will report directly to James Phalen, CEO of CitiStreet.
While many U.S. firms are pulling out of foreign markets, spurred by cost-cutting measures, CitiStreet is expanding its range.
Last month, Charles Schwab announced that it was selling its Australian unit to TD Waterhouse Investor Services. Additionally, the firm is divesting itself of both its Japanese and Hong Kong businesses. Nevertheless, CitiStreet sees fertile ground down under.
Opportunities for CitiStreet come from a 1992 requirement that all Australian companies offer superannuation to their employees. "While its not that big of a country, its an absolutely complete market," said spokesman Mike Bezdek.
Bezdek also said that both of CitiStreets parents, State Street Corp. and Citigroup, have a strong presence in Australia, making it a natural market. And the opportunity to buy the Australian SEBS unit made the move even more attractive, he said.