The backing of a string of big corporate names and high-net-worth people has put Geoff Wilson’s new listed fund on track to become the largest listed investment company to float on the sharemarket.
The Future Generation Global Company is the nation’s first internationally focused LIC with the dual objectives of providing shareholders with exposure to selected global fund managers and changing the lives of young people affected by mental illness.
Due to list on the Australian Securities Exchange next month, the fund replicates the concept Mr Wilson successfully introduced to Australia last year with the $200 million Future Generation Investment Company.
That fund was backed by the likes of billionaires Andrew Forrest and Solomon Lew as well as the Victor Smorgon Group, David Paradice, Alex Waislitz and Neil Balnaves’s Balnaves Foundation.
Four of that group — Victor Smorgon chief executive Peter Edwards, Mr Paradice, Mr Waislitz and Mr Balnaves — have agreed to put money into the new fund. Other big-name investors include BHP Billiton and Stockland director Carolyn Hewson, private equity doyen Bill Ferris, Gresham executive director Tony Berg, former ASX director Russell Aboud, former Fairfax Media executive and ecorp founder Daniel Petre, former GPT chairman Peter Joseph, former Newcrest executive Geoff Day, and former SBS chairman Joe Skrzynski.
It is understood several top-100 listed companies are poised to commit multi-million- dollar sums to the fund as part of their social impact investment agenda.
The raising, which closes on August 28, is believed to already have commitments of $200m. Mr Wilson is targeting a raising of up to $550m, which would make it the largest listed investment company to list.
“If you want global equities and unhedged exposure to the top managers in the country, this is the way to do it. And you are doing some good,” Mr Wilson said.
The managers include the likes of Magellan Asset Management, Cooper Investors, Ellerston Capital, IronBridge Capital Management and Paradice Investment Management.
The fund will donate 1 per cent of net tangible assets each year, which could be as much as $5.5m from a raising of $550m, to nine designated Australian charities, including Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Butterfly Foundation, Headspace and ReachOut Australia.
Mr Wilson, who will be putting $3m of his own money into the Future Generation Global Company, revealed that returns from the original Future Generation Investment Company had outperformed the broader market by 3.1 per cent since its launch nine months ago. He said the volatility of the performance was 7 per cent versus 13 per cent in the broader market. “You have had half the volatility and better performance,” Mr Wilson said.
The Future Generation Global Company will be chaired by former QBE chairman Belinda Hutchinson, who is putting $1m of her money into the fund.
Also on the board will be Frank Caserotti, general manager of distribution at Magellan Asset Management; Sue Cato, principal of business advisory firm Cato Counsel; Karen Penrose, director of Federation Centres, Spark Infrastructure and Landcom; and Sarah Morgan, director of independent corporate advisory firm Grant Samuel and non-executive director of Adslot and Hansen Technologies.
The Future Generation Global Company will be jointly run by former Philanthropy Australia chief executive Louise Walsh and former PM Capital chief executive Chris Donohoe.