It isn’t often you get an ASX board member openly boasting about their decision to exercise options and pick up a big wack of stock in their company, but let’s indulge former QBE chairwoman Belinda Hutchinson on her decision to take the plunge on Geoff Wilson‘s charity venture, Future Generation Global Investment Company.
Alongside the usual stodgy Change of Directors Interest Notice lodged with the ASX, Hutch released a more vibrant announcement that enthused about her decision to exercise 301,000 FGG options to buy stock, which now takes her stake to 1.2 million shares.
“I passionately believe in FGG’s unique model, which delivers both investment and social returns,” she said in her statement to the ASX.
She has some way to go before catching Wilson, who is also no slouch when it comes to backing the cause. He has lifted his stake from 3 million to 5 million shares since the 2015 IPO.
Wilson got the idea of setting up the fund manager to provide a return for investors while giving a percentage of its net tangible assets to charities focused on youth mental health.
The trick is to get well-regarded fund managers to invest the money for free, and the board – including Wilson – work pro bono.
“As announced with our half-year results, FGG received $3.8 million in annualised savings delivered from forgone management and performance fees and pro bono services – significantly exceeding the annual donation to charities,” said Hutchinson.
FGG will make a $3 million donation to its supported charities next month, including the Butterfly Foundation, which has launched an early intervention program for young people with eating disorders.
Hutchinson and her fellow directors have until this Friday to exercise any remaining bonus options at $1.10 a piece, which was the IPO price, and is the current share price.