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AIMS Financial Group taps Craig Mason to lead rebranded BBY

Last week AIMS, led by George Wang, has completed an asset purchase agreement with failed broker BBY. Louise Kennerley

From: The Australian Financial Review  By: Joyce Moullakis

The rebranded BBY Asia Pacific Group has appointed former Pershing Securities boss Craig Mason to lead the firm, while emphasising the stockbroking and advisory company would keep a tight rein on risk taking.


Mr Mason starts just two weeks after BBY entered voluntary administration after failing to repay a $6 million loan to St George Bank. Last week, the George Wang led AIMS Financial Group agreed to buy the remnants of BBY, via an asset purchase agreement and offered about 120 employees contracts.


The deal which is part of a restructure of BBY, was agreed with administrators KPMG and receivers PPB Advisory, although may still require a deed of company arrangement. 


Mr Mason has more than 30 years experience in stockbroking and Pershing was the third clearing firm he ran in Australia. That follows Merrill Lynch's Berndale Securities and a stint at UBS, while he also served as country head for BNY Mellon for more than three years.

Crucial time

Mr Mason, who stepped down as local chairman of Pershing in March, was last year inducted into to the Stockbrokers Hall of Fame. But he joins the rebranded group at a crucial time, particularly as many clients and securities dealers that used BBY for trading and clearing services are still grappling to assess losses from the collapse.


Some BBY staff have already emerged at rivals. Regulators are also delving into what went wrong at BBY, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is expected to say more this week. 


In a statement on the appointment, Mr Wang and Mr Mason highlighted that BBY Asia Pacific would have a conservative approach to risk.

Related Quotes

Mr Mason said he would seek to rebuild the company in Australia whilst also looking for growth in Asia.


"Our focus will be on serving our clients – with a reduced risk profile ," he added.


Part of the downfall of BBY centred on its aggressive push into the options market, where it accounted for almost 8 per cent of local volumes.


The new AIMS team involved in BBY, includes former Macquarie executive director and chief of E*Trade Australia, Brett Spork, former ASX and Pershing executive and AIMS Capital Securities operating chief Adam Joseph, and AIMS Financial's investment banking boss Mike Netterfield.