Monthly Archives: September 2013

Select confirms legitimate, growing appetite for alternative investments – 18 September 2013

A roundtable of leading Australian and international investors has today ratified growing interest in alternative investment instruments, saying the sophistication of providers has helped overcome historical obstacles.

Today’s ‘new breed’ investment managers – with a transparent focus on must-have liquidity and global capability – is helping to redefine alternatives as prized portfolio tools for retail investors and financial advisers.

“Australian retail investors lag international peers in respect of their asset allocation to alternatives,” said Winston Capital Partners Founding Partner and Managing Director, Andrew Fairweather.

“So we see strong upside potential to bring the best of local experience coupled with a global specialist. This enables us to bring an institutional quality offer with greater liquidity, transparency and access to investments and strategies not currently available to domestic investors,” he said.

The experts, drawn from specialist investment management group Select Investment Partners and its investment adviser Neuberger Berman addressed a special roundtable to map out the parameters for the ‘new alternatives’ approach.

“Select continued its journey to bring deep, institutional quality investment thinking and capability to retail investors earlier this year with the appointment of Neuberger Berman in an advisory role to the Select Alternatives Portfolio,” said Mr Fairweather.

“Today was a unique chance to hear first-hand perspectives from the investment professionals running the fund. It has helped to explain why Select Investment Partners believes alternative investing in Australia has reached a positive tipping point.”

Dominic McCormick, Select’s Chief Investment Officer, said:
““Alternative investment offerings to retail investors today not only have to help diversify a portfolio but they also need to be highly liquid, transparent, value for cost and global in scope. Select and Neuberger Berman are aiming to bring all these elements together in a high quality package”.”

Mr Fairweather, whose firm distributes the Select Alternatives Portfolio, said the partnership of Select with Neuberger Berman is an exciting new partnership that brings unique opportunities to Australian investors.

“The Select approach has been to partner with a global brand in Neuberger Berman, while forging a best of breed investment committee including:

• Dominic McCormick, Chief Investment Officer and a founding partner of Select
• David Bell, current member of Select’s Investment Advisory Panel and consultant to Select;
• Thomas Good, former manager in debt and alternatives at the Future Fund, now an Investment Strategist with Select.”

“Select’s core principles of investor focus, investment rigour and original thinking continue to frame its activities in the Australian market,” he said.

“Neuberger Berman delivers Select Investment Partners significantly increased investment research, market leading technology and deep resources with a far broader reach for the Select Alternatives Portfolio.” Mr Fairweather concluded.

Winston Capital Partners to double growth in foundation year – 18 September 2013

Winston Capital Partners (Winston) has announced a number of new clients and personnel initiatives as demand from funds management firms seeking quality third party marketing and distribution services continues to grow.

New clients include YBR Funds Management for their Smarter Money Fund and Morphic Asset Management for their Global Opportunities Fund.

Commenting on the deal, Darren Harvey of YBR Funds Management stated, “we are very pleased to have appointed the Winston team to distribute our active cash solution to financial advisers and small institutions.”

“Winston’s strategic approach has really stood out and we are seeing the pipeline develop substantially in a very short time. Having such depth of experience in distribution made a great deal of sense for us given the 60 plus years of experience among Winston’s founders, which has ultimately fast tracked our market entry with a well planned approach.”

And Jack Lowenstein, Managing Director of Morphic Asset Management stated that “We are very happy that after an exhaustive search we have found a long term partner like Winston with whom we can grow our Funds under Management in what we expect to be a rapid but sustainable manner. We have been impressed by the thoroughness with which Winston has analysed our Fund and distilled its key messages, as well as the depth and breadth of its industry contacts.”

To support that growth, Winston today announced the appointment of senior industry executive Rory MacIntyre as Partner. Mr MacIntyre is joined on the Winston team by Chad Nikolov, Associate – Business Development.

Winston is led by founding partners Stephen Robertson and Andrew Fairweather.

“Winston launched almost 12 months ago with a clear target of being Australia’s leading specialist funds management and third party marketing and distribution firm. The firm is on track towards this goal, and we welcome the addition of two new appointments in Rory and Chad to their respective roles with Winston,” said Founding Partner Andrew Fairweather.

“We have brought on new clients and are in discussion with a number of equally sophisticated asset management businesses. Each represents a high benchmark in quality and execution discipline in their respective asset classes. We of course seek to complement this expertise with matching service and market experience depth.
“There is a clear gap for high quality specialist marketing and distribution services in both the wholesale and retail sector, for which Winston is resolved to meet,” he said.

Rory MacIntyre – Partner

Rory is a senior wealth and funds management industry professional, bringing over 20 years experience in financial services. Rory served with Perpetual Investments over a 15-year period, including as acting Group Executive for the Global Equities business, and as a member of the Perpetual Limited executive committee.
Rory has worked with several high quality brands in the areas of capital raising, distribution advisory and coaching.

Chad Nikolov – Associate Business Development

Chad has a six-year long career with major financial services brands including AMP Capital Brookfield and Challenger. His previous role with Challenger was in the position of senior research analyst. At AMP Capital Management Brookfield he was responsible for the marketing, business development and relationship management for the company’s listed infrastructure and listed property capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Fairweather said: “With Rory on board, the management team brings to market a unique combination of world-class financial services marketing and distribution expertise, together with seasoned funds management experience honed over a combined 60+ years.
The firm will continue to build its presence in the Australian market based on four key pillars: funds formation, third party distribution, capital raising and specialist advisory.

A new definition of investment beliefs – 1 September 2013

“After working hard, paying taxes, providing the necessities of life, providing the appropriate extras to enjoy a decent lifestyle, succumbing to other forces that are a drain on our financial resources, it is exceedingly difficult for most people to save a meaningful amount of money in order to provide for the future.

  • If you are in the fortunate minority who have accumulated meaningful capital, you now face a range of investment alternatives and many potholes along the way to true financial independence.
  • We’re exposed to all sorts of risk, including known risks and unknown risks.
  • The best way to reliably build wealth over time is to invest in a diverse range of financial assets with no or minimal leverage.
  • We’re already overexposed to ‘Australia’ with our homes, jobs, and social connections all correlated to this home economy.  Investing in foreign assets is an important mechanism to achieve true economic diversification.  In outlier scenarios (say, if the economy tanked and the currency fell 50%; or if capital controls were put in place) having financial assets abroad provides wealth insurance and a hedge against our principal exposure (Australia).
  • Markets are comprised of 1000’s of different investment opportunities.  Most of these are either uninteresting (too hard to understand) or inappropriately valued (too expensive).  But there is a subset of the investment universe of businesses that are very interesting and that we would like to own at an appropriate price.  Most of the time most of those stocks are priced fully/fairly and are not attractive.  But from time to time some of these stocks will become available for various reasons at prices that are attractive.  Structural reasons exist for why opportunities arise.  The most compelling of these is the ‘time arbitrage’ dynamic.  Most trading activity occurs with a short time frame orientation.  Virtually all of the investment community’s research effort is dedicated to following current operating developments of businesses, and near-term expectations (e.g. 1 quarter, 1 year).  While investors focus on current year developments, 90-95% of a stock price is discounting cashflows outside of that period.  An opportunity exists to genuinely focus on the very long term and attempt to value the long-range prospects for an enterprise.
  • Other structural reasons include the (academically verified) tendency for markets to overreact to bad news.  Combining this with the ability to take truly long-term view and one can often find opportunities with businesses that have good long-term track records and good long-range prospects but whose businesses have suffered a bad patch.
  • If we can own 10-30 reasonably diverse financial investments, and maintain some liquidity and have no debt; this is a wonderful tool for both genuine fundamental risk mitigation and exploiting a very interesting structural inefficiency (short-term orientation) that exists in markets.
  • Bringing this back to the individual investor’s perspective, if you can overlay a strategy of owning a diverse portfolio of financial assets with a tolerance for market cycles/swings and the commitment to add to one’s portfolio from ongoing savings over time, this is a wonderful way to go through life and an effective way to obtain financial security and independence.

That’s how ‘I’ think about the world.  It’s nothing more scientific than that.”

Michael Haddad, Peters MacGregor Capital Management