Australia’s Principle Advisory Services appoints chairman

John Rickus, the former trustee of Motor Trade Association of Australia has been appointed chairman of Sydney-based Principle Advisory Services, a placement agent and strategic advisor. His appointment reflects the growing appeal of alternative assets to Australia’s superannuation funds.

Principle Advisory Services, a Sydney-based placement agent and strategic advisor, has appointed John Rickus, former trustee of Motor Trade Association of Australia, one of Australia’s largest occupational-based funds, as its chairman. Rickus joined Australia’s auto industry superannuation fund in 1995 and was independent chairman at the trade association in 1996-2006.

Les Fallick, founder and managing director of Principle Advisory said Rickus’ appointment will bring the consultancy “a wealth of experience” about how superannuation funds approach their investment in alternative assets.

 “There’s a bit of the gamekeeper turned poacher in this story. For more than a decade, Rickus was trustee of one of the fastest-growing and best-performing funds in the country. In the 10-year period that he was at the helm, funds under management grew from A$400 million ($316.6 million) in 1996 to A$4.2 billion in December of 2006, growth that was fuelled, in large part, by its innovative approach to alternative assets.”

Principle Advisory stands to benefit from Rickus’ depth of industry knowledge on its board, Fallick said.

“Principle sees the super funds as our real clients, and John knows how these funds tick, what services they require and what they will need going forward. It’s particularly his advice on alternative assets that will prove of enormous value to Principle.”

Forty-three percent of assets managed by MTAA are in alternatives, according to Fallick.

Rickus’ career started in London at Barclays Bank in 1962. Two years later, he joined Panmure Gordon, a broking firm. He migrated to Australia in 1969 to play semi-professional soccer for West Adelaide Hellas before returning to broking from 1969 to 1974. He then left to become company secretary and accountant at Yorke Motors Adelaide, a Mitsubishi dealer, which he became a part owner of in 1980. In 1990, he bought an Adelaide Mazda dealership. In 2000, he sold the car dealerships and return to university to complete his economics degree.