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Ex-IML portfolio manager launches new boutique

By Tim Stewart
 — 1 minute read

Former Investors Mutual portfolio manager Jason Teh has struck out on his own to launch equity income boutique Vertium Asset Management.

Vertium Asset Management is a new equity income boutique founded by former Investors Mutual Limited (IML) portfolio manager Jason Teh.

The company is being launched today in partnership with Melbourne-based boutique investment management firm Copia Investment Partners, which will market and distribute the Vertium Equity Income Fund.


Mr Teh, who is also Vertium’s chief investment officer, spent nine years as a portfolio manager on IML’s equity income fund and has 18 total years of experience in the industry.

He will be supported in his new venture by portfolio managers Sam Dyson and Daniel Mueller as well as equity analyst Trent Crawley.

Mr Dyson joins Vertium from Maple-Brown Abbott, while Mr Mueller makes the move from Forager Funds (prior to that, he was Mr Teh’s colleague at IML).

Mr Crawley was previously an equity analyst at Franklin Templeton Investments Australia.

Vertium is launching with $10 million of seed money, which includes “a good portion” of Mr Teh’s liquid wealth – along with co-investments from his new colleagues and board members of Copia Investment Partners.

Speaking exclusively to InvestorDaily, Mr Teh said his equity income fund will be the first in the sector to have a ‘triple-objective portfolio’: high income, low risk and a better return than the S&P/ASX 300.

Of the roughly 13 equity income funds in the Australian market, he said, a majority have the ‘double objective’ of achieving high incomes with low risk – but they do so with a worse relative return than the broader market.

“Their total returns are not that great, for the lack of a better word. The unit price is well south of a dollar,” he said.

Mr Teh played down the notion that he is making life difficult for himself by including a five-year objective to beat the market on top of a dependable income stream.

“I've done this for nine years and I know it can be done. The way I'm managing this fund will [be] no different from how I'm managed the IML fund,” Mr Teh said.

“I just want to be held accountable, because we want to give the best outcomes,” he said.

The fund will invest in between 20 and 40 stocks in the S&P/ASX 300 with a large-cap bias.

It has a management fee of 97 basis points and can hold between zero and 50 per cent of the portfolio in cash to ensure capital preservation.

Ex-IML portfolio manager launches new boutique

Former Investors Mutual portfolio manager Jason Teh has struck out on his own to launch equity income boutique Vertium Asset Management.

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