Traditionally active in the institutional market, $US14 billion investment firm Marvin & Palmer Associates is making a decisive move to board Australian platforms.

The US-based large-cap growth manager has partnered with Equity Trustees (EQT) to roll out two of its funds, the Marvin & Palmer global equity and global emerging markets trusts, into the retail market. EQT will undertake marketing and distribution resposibilities for the vehicles as they are assessed by fund ratings houses, before being shown to platforms, Lorraine Berends, Marvin & Palmer client service and marketing principal, said. “We’re a manufacturer, not a distributor,” Berends said. “The bottom-up marketing is not something we’re able to do on our own.” Even though Skandia has run the global equities trust on its platform for a number of years, and Clearview has held it in a fund-of-funds vehicle, the partnership signals Marvin & Palmer’s intention to capture retail inflows in the years ahead. “This is a model for us to see how it works…It’s a function of our marketplace and it’s where the growth is,” Berends said. The manager launched the global equity trust with EQT in September 2007. This fund now holds $70 million, while the emerging markets offering was finalised in late December 2007 and carries $4 million in seed capital, supplied by EQT. In the Australian institutional sector, Marvin & Palmer’s clients include AustralianSuper, HostPlus, the Local Government Superannuation Scheme and the Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme. It manages $2 billion from Australian investors, of which $1.35 billion is in its global equities fund and $635 million in the emerging markets vehicle. The manager employs a top-down, bottom-up approach to investing, conducting region, country, currency and sector analyses before an inspection of individual stocks.

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