Andrew Barnes nz

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Andrew Howard Barnes (born 5 February 1960) is an English-born, New Zealand-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is a director of Coulthard Barnes and the managing director of Perpetual Guardian, which formed under his leadership through the coming together of Perpetual Trust and Guardian Trust, two trustee companies with more than 130 years’ history between them. These acquisitions were followed with a series of others including My Bucket List, Covenant Trustee Services, Foundation Corporate Trust and New Zealand Trustee Services. Barnes has led an innovation in digital estate planning services through Kowhiri, New Zealand’s largest digital provider of online wills and will management.

Early life

Barnes was born near Preston and grew up in north-west England. His parents, Alan and Barbara Barnes, are teachers and artists. Barnes’ maternal grandfather was unemployed for much of his adult life, and Barnes’ paternal grandfather died when Barnes father was 15. Their childhood experiences led Barnes’ parents to imbue in their son a concern for job security and avoidance of risk, which Barnes has said influenced his career path.

After completing grammar Barnes obtained a scholarship to attend Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge, where he completed a Master of Arts in archaeology. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) in the UK, and attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.


From 1979 to 1981 Barnes served as a university cadet in the Royal Navy. He began his financial services career with National Westminster Bank, then worked at County NatWest in the UK before moving to Australia at age 27 to work for the company in the role of head of credit.

Barnes joined the Macquarie Group in 1990 and held various directorships before becoming chairman in 1999. As executive director of banking services Barnes was approached in early 1999 by two advertising salespeople for the then-small website Barnes is said to have “changed the course of history for online property in Australia” when he declined to advertise and instead proposed buying the company. Barnes led Macquarie’s purchase of a controlling stake of 51 percent for just under $1 million in June 1999.

Under Barnes’ chairmanship was admitted to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on 29 November 1999 and began trading on 1 December. The initial issue was of 15 million shares at .50 Australian dollars. In 2001 Barnes was appointed a director of Citibank in Australia and tasked with creating a wealth management division. Profitability increased by 500% and the size of the portfolio by 16% over the following 18 months. In 2003 Barnes joined TOWER Limited to form its wealth management division out of three subsidiaries, and he subsequently initiated and led a spin-off of the division and its listing on the ASX.

As managing director of Australian Wealth Management (AWI) from 2004 to 2006, Barnes led the company’s listing on the ASX following its demerger from TOWER Limited and a new merger with Select Managed Funds, a transaction that increased AWI’s market capitalisation from A$250 million to A$1 billion.

Upon returning to the UK Barnes served as CEO of Bestinvest (Holdings) Limited from 2006 joint managing director of Just Wills Group from 2009 to 2011; and as a director of Squarehill Risk Services, a risk consultancy to major UK financial institutions, in 2012. It was in 2003 that Barnes first recognised the opportunity to reinvent the estate planning and fiduciary services industry, and in 2013 he acquired the New Zealand trust company Perpetual Trust. In 2014 Barnes founded Complectus and acquired Guardian Trust to merge it with Perpetual Trust under the new brand of Perpetual Guardian. Complectus now owns Perpetual Guardian. In 2015 Barnes led the acquisition by Complectus of several fiduciary services companies in the New Zealand market: Bucket List, Covenant Trustee Services, Foundation Corporate Trust and New Zealand Trustee Services Limited. These companies now sit within the Complectus group of companies and variously operate within or alongside the Perpetual Guardian and Guardian Trust (corporate client services) brands. Barnes remains the chairman and a non-executive director of Perpetual Trust Limited.

Also in 2015 Barnes established Coulthard Barnes, which has three divisions: the first Coulthard Barnes Capital, oversees Complectus and Kowhiri, the business housing and developing digital assets such as and, and Postage Stamp/Delamore Estates. The latter is a wine and primary industry business that Barnes is developing from his home on Waiheke Island, Auckland.

The second and third divisions of Coulthard Barnes are focused on the development and purchase of complementary enterprises to the Coulthard Barnes Capital entities. Coulthard Barnes, which is based on Barnes’ Australian venture capital experience, invests in and supports emerging fintech businesses, and Coultharrd Barnes Property is the holding company for Barnes’ commercial property assets.

As a philanthropist, Barnes is directing the expansion of Perpetual Guardian’s long-standing philanthropy service by creating vehicles that encourage New Zealanders into long-term charitable giving at any level they can afford. He personally funds a number of charitable causes and provided seed funding for the Perpetual Guardian Foundation, which he describes as ‘crowdfunding for charities’. In 2015 Barnes led Perpetual Guardian’s sponsorship of the Superdiversity Stocktake, the inaugural analysis of the implications of an ethnically superdiverse New Zealand for business, government and citizens.

In March 2015, the last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, agreed to withdraw his war medals from auction and gift them to Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in exchange for a $30,000 donation by Barnes to establish the NZ Bomber Command Fund through the Perpetual Guardian Foundation. The fund is intended to help preserve the historical legacy of Bomber Command in New Zealand, and is open to donation from all New Zealanders. In 2015 Barnes engineered Perpetual Guardian’s sponsorship of Philanthropy New Zealand’s semi-annual Giving New Zealand report, and through collaboration with Philanthropy New Zealand he has been involved in the purchase of social impact bonds.

Personal life

Barnes’ lifelong interest in archaeology has led to his status as a noted art collector establishing a collection of mostly New Zealand artists to furnish the walls of his homes and also his businesses, sharing his love of art with his staff and clients. He has taken part in archaeological digs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Barnes is a keen sportsman and while living in Sydney participated in competitive sailing. Barnes is a wine collector and oenophile; his personal wine label, which operates from Waiheke Island, is called Postage Stamp. In the United Kingdom Barnes was actively involved in community and local body politics.


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