Charity fund to help children at risk

| Financial Review Sunda|Deborah Knight

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Deborah Knight, Financial Review Sunday: We have seen a big focus on philanthropy this week with Billionaire James Packer launching a new charitable fund supporting the arts and indigenous education but helping out doesn’t have to be a one way street. Geoff, you are involved in a new investment opportunity, an Australian first which seems to be offering everything, profits as well as helping out children’s charities, what is it?

Geoff Wilson, Wilson Asset Management: It is an amazing product because it is a win, win, win. The fund managers are managing the money for free, I have the best fund managers in Australia managing capital. The investor gets exposure to the best fund managers and doesn’t pay any fees. Even the ASX has waived there annual listing fees, all the services providers are doing it pro-bono. No fees at all. And the charities, it is focusing on children and children at risk they get 1 per cent of the assets per annum. So it gives them consistent streaming. And the shareholders decide each year of the list of 14 charities which charity they want the money to go to.

Knight: Now it closes the offer on the 3rd of September.

Wilson: I have never marketed something and such an incredibly positive response.

Knight: Really?

Wilson: When people think about charity they think you are going to put your hand in your pocket and take money out. But this is, as I said, a great deal for the investors. What you are doing is, you are really investing in a managed fund so you are investing in the future. To me it could be a game changer with philanthropy in terms of funding and you are investing in Australia’s future and that is children.

Knight: Don’t tell me that the finance world has found a heart; I mean what is in it for the fund managers here?

Wilson: That’s what everybody says. Well the money is going into their normal funds. The reason why the fund managers are doing it for free is because social responsibility, they have been fortunate and it is really an opportunity to give back and every fund manager I have asked has said ‘yes we, are happy to do it’.

Knight: Well, it is an interesting project and as we say ethical investments are certainly taking off a lot of interest and for more information on this you can head to the Future Generation Investment Fund website.