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‘New generation’ Australian investment manager Blackwattle launches

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The fund manager has launched with initial seed capital of up to $60 million.

New fund manager Blackwattle Investment Partners has officially launched in Australia with initial seed capital of up to $60 million and six years of funding.

Described as a “new generation, highly aligned, Australian investment manager”, Blackwattle has sought to attract the best investment talent in Australia, according to managing director and chief investment officer Michael Skinner, who was formerly a portfolio manager at Renaissance Asset Management.

Mr Skinner has partnered with ex-Citi equity sales director Jarred Rubin as Blackwattle’s chief executive officer, along with former Pinnacle distribution director Matthew Dell as the fund manager’s executive director, and former Zurich head of investment sales Maggie Mills as its head of distribution.

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“We’ve flipped the traditional model and removed the key person risk. We don’t believe in a concentrated leadership style — everyone is a meaningful equity owner, and we are all partners together,” Mr Skinner explained.

“We invest alongside our investors and clients, with personal capital committed and corporate profits reinvested into our portfolios, there is no personal trading.”

Blackwattle intends to launch its first four portfolios — ASX Small Cap Quality, Mid Cap Quality, Long-Short 130/30 Quality, and Large Cap Quality Funds — in July this year with an aim to expand into global equity and alternative assets at a later date.

Ray David and Joe Koh will head up Blackwattle’s Long Short 130/30 Quality and Large Cap Quality funds. The pair have more than 40 years of investment experience combined and most recently helped manage more than $12 billion in similar strategies at Schroders Australia.

Meanwhile, Tim Riordan and Michael Teran will head up the Mid Cap Quality Fund after previously managing a similar fund for over five years at Aware Super. Mr Riordan served as head of direct equities at Aware, managing a team of 11 and more than $3.5 billion.

Finally, the Small Cap Quality Fund will be managed by Robert Hawkesford and Daniel Broeren, who together have more than 40 years of investment experience at Ellerston and Watermark.

“Our teams have proven investment ability and a track record of outperformance, being top tier ranked within the Australian market,” said Mr Skinner.

According to Mr Rubin, Blackwattle will be focusing on small and efficient teams that have a track record in delivering strong returns.

“In cherry picking the team, we have not only looked for outstanding investment capability but also making sure we have the right cultural fit,” he said.

“We’re taking all the good elements of investment funds management to create a better way of investing.”

Blackwattle has also assembled an independent five-member board as well as third-party governance with independent chair-headed ESG and investment councils.

The board includes chairman John Churchill and non-executive directors Matthew Lawrance and Nerida Hall in addition to Mr Skinner and Mr Dell.

‘New generation’ Australian investment manager Blackwattle launches

The fund manager has launched with initial seed capital of up to $60 million.

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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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