BlackRock has recruited two senior investment professionals – Charlie Lanchester and Madeleine Beaumont – to launch a new fundamental active Australian equities capability. They will be recruiting further investment professionals and establishing the product offering for clients over coming months.
The traditional stock-picking strategy, with a style bias to quality first, then value, joins the BlackRock alpha suite of strategies headed up in the region by Hong Kong-based CIO of Alpha Strategies, Asia Pacific, Belinda Boa.
Lanchester, who becomes head of Australian Fundamental Equities as of today (June 1) is the former deputy head of Australian equities at Perpetual Investments, where he had been for about 14 years. Beaumont, who also starts today, becomes senior portfolio manager in the fundamental team. She has held senior roles in both stock broking and funds management including fund manager and head of European research at M&G Investments in London and equity analyst at Skandia in London.
The fundamental team’s process will emphasise both technical aspects of quality, such as debt levels and balance sheet strength, as well as qualitative judgements such as management and governance. The product suite may include a concentrated ex-top10 industrials fund, which would be a point of differentiation from other big core managers.
After the takeover of Barclays Global Investors in 2009, which catapulted BlackRock worldwide to the number one spot, BlackRock Australia went through a period of structural change and consolidation. But since December 2012 it has increased its funds under management from $46 billion to $76 billion, as at March, 2015.
While BlackRock has a been a beneficiary of the strong trend to passive and smart beta strategies, especially in MySuper products, the institutional funds flow has also been across the range of alternatives, including liquid alternatives and property, fixed income and credit.
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