Wilson gets $302m away in celebrity investor float

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Geoff Wilson
With the kick-start of a lazy $3 million from Geoff Wilson’s family foundation, the Future Generations Global listed investment company, which debuted on the ASX last Thursday, attracted a glittering array of celebrity investors. It also attracted some mental health and other charities as shareholders.
The LIC sponsored by Geoff Wilson’s Wilson Asset Management, Future Generations Global (FGG), raised $302 million, making it the most successful raising of its kind this year. This was despite strong headwinds during the last three weeks of the raising period due to the Chinese, Australian and global markets volatility.
Wilson and his well-connected friends and associates put together a registry of about 5,500 investors for the multi-manager fund, which donates back its funds management fees to various organisations that assist people with mental illness – especially young people. Louise Walsh, FGG co-chief executive, said that, if not for the recent market gyrations, the IPO would probably have raised closer to $400 million.
The share registry makes for interesting reading. Apart from QBE, which is the largest shareholder, with $30 million invested, and the Wilson family foundation, the main stakeholders include:

> the partners of advisory firm Korda Mentha, including Mark Korda, Mark Mentha and Dean Winterbottom, who is on the board of ReachOut Australia

> IPAC co-founder and TV personality Paul Clitheroe

> Melbourne entrepreneur Peter Scanlon, who runs his own foundation and family office

> Paul Bassat, the co-founder of Seek and current Wesfarmer and Australian Football League director

> Film industry identity and philanthropist Neil Balnaves

> Lonely Planet founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler

> Tony Berg, the first managing director of Macquarie Bank and a former chief executive of Boral

> Daniel Petrie, the tech entrepreneur and former US Microsoft executive

> Investment banker Peter Joseph, who is also a director of the Black Dog Institute and St James Ethics Centre

> The Gumala Trust, which is the second-largest indigenous company in Australia

> Private equity veterans Joe Skrynzki, a former Sydney Opera House chair and film industry promoter, and his business partner Bill Ferris

> Grahame Mapp, the founder of coal exporter Oakbridge in the 1970s and, more recently, the founder of media company Omnicom (now know as Omnilab Media)

> Myles Baron-Hay, a former BT Funds Management executive and chief executive of the Sydney Swans AFL club, and

> Frank Casarotti, a director of the LIC and head of distribution at Wilson’s rival fund manager Magellan Financial Group.

Among the charities and foundations which also took shares in the IPO as a way to help their own reserves management, are Sane Australia, the Smith Family, the Snow Foundation and the Grace Foundation.
The FGG gives one per cent of assets under management to a selection of mental health charities per year, with the fund managers and other service providers, including the ASX and administrator White Administration, donating their services.
For shareholders who invest more than $1 million, the donation can go to a charity of their choice outside the FGG list. FGG will also provide a dividend scheme for donations and promote separate donations. It will be Australia’s second-largest single funder of mental health research and assistance outside of government.
The $1.00 shares traded at $1.07 on day one, in a soft market, slipping to $1.05 last Friday.

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