James Packer, executive chairman of Consolidated Press Holdings, will deliver the first public description of his company’s vision for its investments in the financial services industry at the annual Fund Executives Association Ltd (FEAL) dinner on August 9.

Consolidated Press has three separate investments in the industry and Packer was quoted earlier this year as saying that he believed they would be delivering at least a third of the group’s overall earnings within five years, alongside media and gaming. The largest investment is a 20 per cent stake in Challenger Financial Services (with an option to go to 30 per cent over a number of years), which has four divisions covering funds management, mortgages, financial planning, through Genesys Wealth Management, and annuities, through its life office. Challenger Funds Management has about $12 billion under management. The Consolidated Press group also has a hedge fund business, Ellerston Capital, which has three hedge funds and has recently been opened up to investors outside the company. It was also a seed investor in Contango Asset Management.. Packer’s speech to the FEAL dinner – at the request of AMP Capital Investors and organised with the help of Challenger – is being widely anticipated and is expected to push up numbers for both the dinner and the conference the following day. AMP sponsors the FEAL Fund Executive of the Year Award, which is also presented at the dinner. Matt Gaden, Challenger’s head of institutional business, said yesterday that the speech would cover three broad themes: the impact of changes to the superannuation industry and consequent opportunities; the importance of the financial services industry; and the future of the industry with a particular reference to the implications for both investors and shareholders. Gaden said: “Challenger is delighted to facilitate James Packer to speak to such an important industry audience as that which is attending the FEAL annual dinner.” The FEAL dinner is open only to members and sponsors, however, the one-day conference is open to the entire industry. Information: www.feal.asn.au

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