Supervised looks to widen family office client base

Supervised Investments Australia, the family office style manager controlled by David Constable and Ken Cooper, is looking to widen its product offering and build its investment team, according to new chief executive, Michael Ohlsson.

Speaking at an investor briefing in Sydney last week, at which Constable, Cooper and the firm’s chair Helen Coonan, the former Federal minister, participated, Ohlsson said his brief including “bringing in new talent” and to look at the full range of opportunities. For example, he had recruited a new analyst who was expected to start next month.

Coonan said all of the people involved with Supervised Investments, including her, invested in the manager’s funds, which currently consist of a global debt fund, which is being offered to institutional investors, and the smaller opportunistic value equity fund, which has a low ceiling on the funds it can take.

Coonan said that the manager recently signed up its first institutional client for a US corporate debt mandate. The company declined to name the client. It was also expanding its product offering and adding new people, such as Mike Ohlsson.

“This business has a lot of potential,” she said. “We have very good portfolio managers and we all have skin in the game.”

Constable is a former stockbroker who set up Constable & Bain as well as planning group Pembroke Financial Planners. Cooper is a former long-time chief financial officer at Time Warner Inc.

A big proportion of the money currently invested by the firm is from Constable and Cooper, but with Ohlsson’s appointment last month, it is looking to widen the client base with other family offices, high net worths and institutional investors.

The two existing and, admittedly small, funds have had stellar performance.

The income fund, run by Phil Carden, concentrates on floating rate credit – and therefore has not interest rate duration risk. It has returned 9.38 per cent annualized since inception in 2009. It has had only one negative return month in 50.

The equities fund, run by Mitch Taylor, who took over the day-to-day portfolio management responsibility from David Constable, returned 46.6 per cent in the 12 months to February and 10.9 per cent annualized since inception in December 2007. It has about $23 million under management and is capped at $50 million to protect returns of existing investors.