A new Melbourne-based boutique incubator has scored its first coup, luring four of the ING Investment Management Australian equities team, including the two directors who have run and rebuilt ING IM’s process since 2004.

Bennelong Group’s funds management division hired former IOOF head of retail, Jarrod Brown, last September and he’s been on a mission to find a large cap Australian equities team ever since. Bennelong’s offer of seed capital, equity participation and full operational support has proved attractive to Paul Cuddy and Mark East, who had together run ING IM’s Australian equities portfolios since 2004 and imbued them with a more quantitative approach to stock selection. Their analyst colleagues, Michael Chun and Michael Malseed, will also join the Bennelong-backed boutique. Bennelong’s Brown refused to comment yesterday. ING IM last week imported two of its senior portfolio managers, Guy Uding from Asia and Tycho van Wijk from Europe, to help cover for the four departures. James Wright, ING IM’s CIO asset strategies and alternatives, stepped into day-to-day responsibility for the Australian equities team. Meanwhile, Suncorp/Tyndall Investments boss Brett Himbury said his search for a new style-neutral Australian equities team – to replace Denis Donohue’s nine-member Suncorp team which left to form a boutique in January – was proceeding under Suncorp’s new head of wealth management, Geoff Summerhayes.

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