Australia’s first intensive outpatient program for young people with eating disorders and a targeted mental health national awareness campaign are among projects that investment guru Geoff Wilson’s social investment funds are supporting.
The Wilson Asset Management boss founded the “Future Generation” model as a way for the funds management and finance industry to “make a significant and ongoing impact to the community”.
He set up two funds: Future Generation Investment Company (FGX) in 2014, and Future Generation Global Investment Company (FGG), which was listed in 2015.
Future Generation fund managers do not charge management or performance fees, allowing the companies to donate 1 per cent of assets to the supported charities each year.
Both funds have announced a combined investment of $6.8 million in Australian charities to be paid in October 2017.
FGX will invest $3.8 million in charities focused on children and youth at risk, and FGG will provide $3 million to charities focused on children and youth mental health.
Mr Wilson said he was pleased the model had been providing solid investment and social returns, with the value of the pro bono support well exceeding the investments in the charities.
“In addition to delivering risk-adjusted returns to shareholders through capital growth and fully franked dividends, FGX and FGG provide a significant, permanent and growing stream of funding to charities focused on Australia’s future generations,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Future Generation companies’ social return of 1 per cent of assets each year can be made while benefiting shareholders by $3.3 million. This pro bono support represents savings of $10.1 million last year, significantly exceeding the combined investment of $6.8 million to charities.”
FGG Chairman Belinda Hutchinson said the company’s $3 million investment would give support to various charities, including opening Australia’s first intensive outpatient program for young people aged 14 to 24 with eating disorders and a targeted mental health national awareness campaign.
It would reach more than 5 million young adults, she said, and also allow the development and implementation of online clinical assessment tools for over 500 young people experiencing suicidal thoughts.