The Alternative Investment Management Association has launched a new university-student-run hedge fund, the first of its kind to launch in Australia.
The fund, Australian Students Asset Management (ASAM), will launch with an initial strategy to generate CPI+4 per cent returns from ASX 300 stocks with a major environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
Further, it is a public ancillary fund registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission and open to industry donations.
ASAM was created by University of New South Wales student Doron Haifer and AIMA Australia general manager Michael Gallagher, with extra support from other university students.
Mr Gallagher said ASAM’s overarching objective is to provide students with a realistic and immersive funds management experience that helps to attract, nurture and build human capital for the industry.
“ASAM allows students to finish degrees as well-rounded industry participants who are able to hit the ground running in roles across the whole spectrum of investment management, as well as allow funds to compete for top talent that is being drawn into tech titans such as Google and Apple,” Mr Gallagher said.
Mr Haifer said the fund will invest long and short in the ASX 300 with an ESG filter designed by ASAM that scores companies from zero to 10, eliminating companies below five.
“The ESG focus is something students really wanted, and while it is the strategy for now, the fund can shift its strategic focus to whatever the demand is of the students of the time,” Mr Haifer said.
“We’re aiming to achieve approximately 15-20 positions, to allow for some diversification while also giving us enough time to put in decent research into our investment ideas.”
The fund will operate in the University of New South Wales in close alignment with the University of Sydney, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and Macquarie University, AIMA said.
Following that, the fund will expand to Melbourne allowing for student cycle turnover.