Floating to compete for staff

Westpac is planning a partial float of its investment arm, BT Financial Group. The bank is likely to retain a 55 per cent stake in the deal which would value BT at almost $1 billion. The decision to sell was driven by a need to retain key staff that are being attracted to boutique firms that can offer equity stakes. The sale could put pressure on rival Commonwealth bank to look at a similar move for its Colonial First State division.