Platinum Asset Management has shed light on the company’s investment processes, following founder and chief executive Kerr Neilson's recent announcement that he will take a back seat.
Speaking to financial advisers in Sydney on Wednesday, 21 March, Platinum chief investment officer Andrew Clifford expressed confidence in the asset manager's process despite Mr Neilson's handing over of the reins, reiterating Mr Neilson's continued involvement in the investment and portfolio management teams.
“I think one of the important things to understand is how the investment team works. We have 30 investment professionals; we divide it up into different sector and geographic teams,” Mr Clifford said.
Among the investment analysts were “very intensive debate[s]”, he said.
“Ideas come through the system from the different teams, are put to the portfolio managers, of which there are ten today … We have a stock meeting, and again we further debate the ideas.
“So ultimately if you've got an investment team that's working well, you have a flow of ideas coming through and life is pretty simple as a portfolio manager – all you've got to do is buy what comes through,” said Mr Clifford.
He added that Mr Neilson would continue to remain on board as part of the investment team, as well as part of the senior portfolio managers group that met and debated each week.
“The team will still have Kerr's thoughts on ideas and investments and what have you.
“But I would just stress this. Through all time, we've had 14 portfolio managers in our organisation.
“Every single one of those 14 managers' long-term record was one of outperformance,” Mr Clifford said.
“And I'll put it to you: it's pretty hard to find 14 portfolio managers across a market that have a record like that.
“So what I really want to point out is that there is an underlying process that is bigger than both myself and Kerr, and (fund managers) Clay (Smolinski), and Joe (Lai).”
Platinum announced in late February that Mr Neilson would move away from portfolio management to become a full-time executive director.