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AMP Capital has repositioned its Australian Equities business to focus on areas where there is long-term demand and where AMP Capital will deliver active and cost-effective capabilities that match its clients’ needs.
The decision represents the latest step to modernise AMP Capital’s equities capability globally. During the last 18 months, AMP Capital has established a Global Equities team and combined its listed real estate and listed infrastructure capabilities to form the Global Listed Real Assets team.
AMP Capital will move to a model where its Australian equities fund managers operate in three focused teams leveraging AMP Capital’s existing, proven capabilities. These teams will manage highly-differentiated and cost-effective products in equity income, small caps and systematic. Teams will be incentivised to grow their specific capabilities by delivering great products and performance for clients.
The Systematic team will also work directly with AMP Capital’s well-regarded Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investment Research team to deliver ESG-screened portfolios to clients. In addition, the Systematic team will provide support to the fundamental teams via intelligent screening.
AMP Capital will no longer offer benchmark-aware, core Australian equities products.
AMP Capital Global CIO of Equities David Allen said: “Australian equities has been and continues to be an important part of AMP Capital’s business and we remain committed to active management.
“It is operating against a backdrop of changing market dynamics, demographics and investor needs. Our research has shown clients increasingly are looking for solutions that can be highly differentiated and cost effective. We expect this trend to continue. We believe demand for benchmark-aware, core Australian equities products is in structural decline over the long term.
“We are always evolving so that we remain relevant in helping clients to meet their investment objectives. The decision to change our Australian Equities business is part of a deliberate strategy to set up the business for growth by responding to shifting client needs and industry trends.”
The investment processes for the equity income and small cap strategies are unchanged. The investment process of internally-managed, ESG screened funds has been strengthened. These low-turnover portfolios are expected to add alpha across the investment cycle by excluding stocks with poor ESG credentials while increasing holdings in those stocks with strong ESG credentials.
Genevieve Murray has been appointed to lead the new team as AMP Capital Head of Australian Equities and Systematic Co-Portfolio Manager. Ms Murray will join AMP Capital on 16 October 2017 from Macquarie Group where she has 21 years of broad experience primarily in quantitative portfolio management/ analysis and investment leadership roles. Most recently, Ms Murray was Head of Research within Macquarie Banking & Financial Services.
A number of the current members of the Australian Equities team will leave their roles including the current Head of Australian Fundamental Equities, Michael Price. Mr Price will leave the business after a period of transition where he will work with the new team to ensure a seamless experience for clients and funds.
The members of the Australian Equities team are now as follows:
- Tom Young, Co-Portfolio Manager
- Dermot Ryan, Co-Portfolio Manager
- Analyst to be advised
- Phillip Hudak, Co-Portfolio Manager
- Co-Portfolio Manager to be advised
- Kent Williams, Analyst
- Analyst to be advised
- Genevieve Murray, Co-Portfolio Manager
- Co-Portfolio Manager to be advised
- Joseph Duncan, Analyst
- Vaibhav Rastogi, Analyst
Recruitment is underway to fill the remaining positions.
Mr Allen said: “I’d like to thank Michael Price and the outgoing people for their contribution and commitment to AMP Capital over the years. They leave with our best wishes for the future.
“We are pleased to have attracted a leader of the calibre and experience of Genevieve Murray to AMP Capital and look forward to delivering excellent client outcomes and growth under her leadership.”
Commenting on the refocussed product range, Mr Allen said: “The new strategy for Australian Equities plays to our strengths and the needs of our clients.
“Demographic shifts towards an ageing population and rising client demand for income mean there is strong demand for equity income products. This is particularly true of offerings like ours, which have a differentiated proposition and are tax efficient.
“We have a strong track record of performance in small caps where there are substantial opportunities to deliver alpha and significant potential for growth due to capacity constraints of funds within this sector.
“Our new approach to managing ESG funds reflects increased demand for products that are aligned with our clients’ values.
“By expanding our Systematic team, we’re also recognising the increasing role of cost-effective capabilities in client portfolios.”
The changes are effective immediately.
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This article has been prepared to provide general information and does not constitute 'financial advice' for the purposes of the Financial Advisors Act 2008 (Act). An individual investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the information available in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and seek professional advice. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this document, AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited and the AMP Group (together, 'AMP') make no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete or timely and do not make any warranties or representations in respect of results gained from its use. The information is not intended to infer that current or past returns are indicative of future returns. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of AMP. These views are subject to change depending on market conditions and other factors.