High-profile investment experts including Mark East of Bennelong Funds Management, BRW Rich Lister David Paradice and LHC Capital’s Steve Aboud – the man associated with managing the Lowy family’s assets – number among the fund managers giving their expertise pro bono to a listed investment company that will donate to children’s charities.

Bennelong, Paradice Investment Management and LHC Capital, as well as Peter Cooper’s Cooper Investors, are reported to have joined forces with nine other fund managers to give investors access to the Future Generation Investment Fund.

Other fund management groups linked to the company include Eley Griffiths Group, Wilson Asset Management, Smallco Investment Manager and Lanyon Asset Management.

The LIC, which is seeking to raise $200 million from investors, is driven by Wilson Asset Management’s Geoff Wilson, and will take on a fund-of-funds structure.

This means investors will have access to a range of strategies managed by the fund managers, rather than a single product. Some of these strategies include investments in large- and small-cap Australian equities, and absolute return funds.

Mr Wilson said the LIC would not charge investors management or performance fees.

Best in Australia

The company would donate 1 per cent of its assets each year to Australian children’s charities, which may include Kids Helpline, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, Diabetes Kids Fund and Youth Off the Streets.

“Effectively, I want to put the best group of fund managers in Australia together and give investors access to that,” Mr Wilson said.

“What all the managers and most of the service providers have done here, is the fees they normally charge will be rebated to the fund – it’s a very generous move.”

“The focus is on children, and children at risk,” he said of the selected charities.

Where the balance of the foregone fees is greater than the amount paid to charities, the balance will be dished back to shareholders.

First of its kind

The management of the company will be conducted by the LIC’s board, which will be chaired by listed investment company veteran, Jonathan Trollip, and WAM.

The LIC, which is the first of its kind in Australia, will be created from the shell of the listed Australian Infrastructure Fund.

While it is new to Australia, a similar style investment strategy is available in Britain, called the Battle Against Cancer Investment Trust.

It also differs from philanthropist Chris Cuffe’s Third Link Growth Fund, which gives investors access to heavyweight fund managers such as Aberdeen Asset Management, Pengana Capital and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

AIF investors voted to adopt the Future Generation Investment Fund’s proposal on Monday, when the prospectus was also lodged.

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