Broker turned fund manager Geoff Wilson was yesterday able to launch his second charitable listed investment vehicle, Future Generations Global Investment company, close to the issue price despite the sharp drop in the market.
The $1.10 units opened at $1.07 and closed at $1.055, bolstered by the fact that the original locally focused fund, the Future Generation investment Co launched early last year, now has a net asset value of $1.16, versus the subscription price of $1.10 at the May 2014 launch.
Ringing the bell to launch the $302 million global LIC, chair Belinda Hutchinson said there had been “an amazing group of global fund managers who have agreed to donate their time and their effort to help young people all around Australia who suffer from mental health issues.”
She described it as “an amazing dual-goal investment” in that 1 per cent of its net asset value will be donated to mental health charities every year.
Mr Wilson, the founder, had aimed for a maximum of $500m but was clearly pleased at passing $300m at a time when the Australian dollar’s buying power offshore has sunk significantly. The first fund raised $200m and gave $1.6m to children’s charities in August.
He specifically listed the 18 fund managers who are investing the funds pro bono, some of whom have done well enough to close off investor access in other ways.
They are Magellan, IronBridge, Coopers, Marsico, Antipodes, VGI, Nikko AM, Ellerston, Manikay, Morphic, Neuberger Berman, Paradice, Tribeca, East Spring, Hunter Hall, insync, Avenir and Optimal.
Several of those are based offshore, including Denver-based Marsico, separate from Paradice’s Denver operation, which is providing management to the global fund.
Manikay is New York-based, run by expats Shane Finemore and Russell Aboud, while Optimal is Sydney-based but invests mostly in Japan. Eastspring is owned by Prudential and works out of Singapore.
Mr Wilson said that even though “in the funds management world, no one actually likes giving anything away,’’ he and his colleagues had been humbled by how quickly the managers agreed to the idea of effectively giving their fee to charity.
“We were amazed at how positive the managers were in embracing this opportunity.’’
He thanked ASX for waiving recurring listing fees for both LICs, noting “they’ve done for us what they’ve never done for another company in Australia.’’
“Everyone’s saying we must be excited, but to me we’re at the bottom of the hill and there’s a long way to go up.
“We think this could be a one, two billion dollar company giving away $10m or $20m a year to an area that is grossly underfunded in Australia.”
Ms Hutchinson said that many leading Australian philanthropists, nonprofits and corporate investors took part in the IPO, including The Smith Family, Peter Scanlon’s Scanlon Foundation, KordaMentha Partners consortium led by Mark Korda and David Winterbottom, and QBE Insurance, which invested $30m.