Investments, Regulation

Bennelong positioning itself for market shift

Bennelong Funds Management is in the process of adding a range of boutique investment house offerings to its stable in anticipation of providing individuals with viable alternatives should there be a significant market shift resulting from the Labor Party proposal to ban imputation credit refunds in certain circumstances.

“[Currently] we’re looking at an Asian fund, a global fund, a sustainable fund and a frontier fund,” Bennelong Funds Management chief executive Craig Bingham said.

When asked about positioning his organisation positively if a change in investor sentiment resulted from the franking credit refund policy materialising, Bingham stated: “That’s sort of hopefully what I’m positioning the portfolio to be able to do.

“That if we have that rotation into something different, that there is at least a boutique that might be an alternative for people to think about.”

With regard to the frontier fund, he revealed Bennelong wanted to provide investors access to opportunities beyond conventional emerging markets.

“There are mainstream emerging markets, which we’ve sort of seen be in vogue for a period of time, but then there are new things coming out of Kenya, Bangladesh, South Africa, some of the more younger economies inside Asia which are benefiting from that ageing population in China and the lack of manpower to house the factories, so we’re seeing benefits in Vietnam and the Philippines, et cetera,” he noted.

“So we’re looking at funds that might be able to benefit from that next level of developing countries.”

According to Bingham, Bennelong Funds Management had itself already experienced a significant change in where fund flows are originating and as such wanted to build upon this situation further.

“If I look back to where we were four years ago, we were 80 per cent institutional clients and 20 per cent retail. Today we’re 45 per cent retail clients and 55 per cent institutional here in Australia,” he said.

“So I think there is a real market for family office, the institutional investors as we’ve known them, retail investors going through traditionally advisory markets, and then self-directed investors.

“If we look at our web traffic now, 58 per cent of it is self-directed investors and we were never talking or writing or positioning our website for that.”

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