The former head of Australian equities at UBS Global Asset Management, Paul Fiani, has registered Integrity Investment Management as the name for a boutique he hopes to launch in the next two months, which his UBS deputy Shawn Burns will also join.

Speaking yesterday after attending the first concert by The Police in 23 years at Vancouver’s GM Place (Fiani’s long-time fan club membership qualified him for one of the 2000 tickets on offer), the market veteran said Integrity’s process would be long-only and valuation-based. He said last week had been a “;hectic”; round of informing former clients and consultants of his intentions, and working on a business plan with some assistance from his brother Robert, a top private client adviser at Macquarie Bank. “;This all came out of the blue so it’s been pretty crazy,”; he said. Fiani defended his performance over six-and-a-half years running Australian equities at UBS GAM, saying his team had done “;damn well”; compared to its peers. UBS’ style tends to be categorised as growth-at-a-reasonable-price by researchers. Fiani will return to Australia on June 12 after his holiday, and get “;straight back to business”; in establishing Integrity. He ruled out using an ‘incubator’ to help set up the boutique. “;I’ve spent the last eleven years working for someone else so it’s time to do something on my own,”; he said. It is understood several UBS GAM clients are reviewing their mandates in light of the departures of Fiani and Burns. Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) chief executive Syd Bone said the manager’s $300 million mandate with VFMC client Emergency Services Super Scheme was “;automatically”; subjected to a special review upon last weeks’ news, with a decision pending. VFMC terminated its mandate with the last Australian equities manager to lose its two top stockpickers – Invesco. Much of the $1.5 billion pulled from Invesco went towards addressing what Bone calls VFMC’s “;overweight”; to Australian equities. Part of the mandate was used to team up with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (the alma mater of current VFMC CIO, Leo De Bever) and buy a 48.5 per cent stake in Birmingham Airport. VFMC’s exposure to that deal is approximately $400 million.

Leave a comment