Bennelong Australian Equity Partners (BAEP) is a boutique fund manager that invests in Australian listed equities. The business was founded in 2008 by Mark East in partnership with Bennelong Funds Management. It is now established as an award winning and highly rated fund manager. BAEP manages funds on behalf of retail and institutional clients, as well as on a pro bono basis for charitable organisations.
The BAEP team comprises of Mark East, who has led the BAEP team since 2008, Keith Hwang, a key team member since inception, and Julian Beaumont. Their expertise is further enhanced by the support of an experienced team of senior investment analysts.
Mark East Chief Investment Officer
MBA, BCm, CA
Mark is responsible for stock selection, portfolio construction and investment strategy. He has over 25 years’ experience in the finance industry.
Prior to establishing BAEP, Mark was Director and Co-Head of Australian Equities at ING Investment Management, where he was jointly responsible for over $10 billion in funds under management. In this role, he was responsible for delivering investment returns that ranked him among the top performers in leading surveys.
Prior to joining ING, Mark was Head of Active Equities at State Street Global Advisors and held portfolio management and senior equity analyst roles at MMI Investment Management and Suncorp Investments. He initially started out at Price Waterhouse as an accountant for over five years. Mark has also completed an MBA.
Keith Hwang Director - Quantitative Research
BEc (Hons), Dip IT, CFA®
Keith is responsible for quantitative research and analysis. He has over 19 years’ experience in the finance industry, focused predominantly on quantitative research and investment process.
Prior to joining BAEP, he worked as a Fund Manager at Schroders within their Quantitative Equity Products team. His role included research and management of a number of quantitative global equity strategies and products.
Prior to this, Keith worked as a Senior Quantitative Analyst at ING Investment Management for over five years where he was instrumental in enhancing their Australian equity process. He has also held similar roles prior to this at GIO Asset Management and BGI.
Keith is a CFA® Charterholder.
Neale Goldston-Morris Senior Investment Analyst
Neale is responsible for macro-economic, sector and stock analysis. Neale has been in the finance industry for 37 years, having begun in the markets in 1978. Neale held executive roles with a number of financial institutions including Macquarie Securities Group, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Deutsche Bank. He was Director and Head of Equity Strategy with Macquarie from 2004 to 2012, where he managed the Equity Strategy Team which was responsible for macroeconomic analysis, bottom-up stock analysis, across-market comparisons, and equity portfolio design and construction. Many of his early years in the industry, between 1982 and 2002, were spent at Bain & Co/Deutsche Bank where he worked as Analyst, Head of Research and Head of Equity Strategy. Neale has an MBA from the AGSM/University of NSW. He joined BAEP in March 2013.
Julian Beaumont Investment Director
LLB (Hons), BSc, CFA®
Julian is the firm’s Investment Director. He has over 13 years’ experience in the finance industry.
Prior to joining BAEP, he worked as an equity analyst and portfolio manager at Investors Mutual Limited, where he was for seven years.
Prior to this, Julian held various roles across equities research, product development and portfolio management and construction at Montpelier Group in London and ING in Sydney and Singapore.
Julian is a CFA® Charterholder.
BAEP is a genuinely active fund manager with a disciplined, research-intensive and fundamentally-driven investment approach.
BAEP takes a very selective approach to stock picking.
The team targets high quality companies with strong growth prospects. BAEP believes that these types of companies offer the best long-term returns, in particular through the growth in shareholder value over time, and with lower risk.
Within the context of these types of companies, BAEP targets those with underestimated earnings strength. BAEP believes that stock prices generally reflect the market’s expectations of companies’ future earnings. Accordingly, BAEP believes that outsized investment returns are available from identifying companies whose earnings can outperform the market's expectations.
BAEP’s investment style is best described as ‘core quality’. BAEP does not ascribe to investments based solely on traditional 'value' or 'growth' styles, which it believes can lead to adverse outcomes.
Whilst BAEP also undertakes the usual financial and other qualitative analysis and research, BAEP’s investment process is focused on a very extensive program of company meetings and other industry contact. The process is designed to derive proprietary insights, with differentiated views on the future prospects of potential investments. Within the context of the high quality and strongly growing companies targeted, the process ultimately seeks to identify underestimated earnings strength, that is, companies that can grow earnings ahead of market expectations. The process also makes use of economic and quantitative expertise, which assists both in stock picking process as well as in building and maintaining portfolios that are risk aware. BAEP typically runs high conviction portfolios that appropriately size what it considers to be the best risk-return opportunities in the market.
More formally, the investment process follows five key stages:
- Initial quality screen: Stocks must satisfy certain size, liquidity and earnings hurdles.
- Idea generation: Stocks are prioritised for further review based on a quantitative ranking screen, company meetings and other industry contact, and macro-economic research.
- Stock picking: Stocks are rigorously researched and analysed, and selected for possible inclusion in the portfolio.
- Portfolio construction: Stocks are appropriately weighted in the portfolio based on their risk/return characteristics.
- Ongoing portfolio optimisation: Portfolios and potential new stock ideas are continuously considered and tested.
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