With only $20 million under management, some would say Australian equities boutique Bellwether Partners should be reconsidering its future in this environment, however founder Bruce Bell has so far rejected advances from incubators and has even appointed a third-party marketing firm to target institutional investors.
Bellwether has contracted AFM Investment Partners to source wholesale mandates, of which the manager has only one so far (with a super fund for private education workers, Combined Fund).
However, Bell said a mandate with a large offshore group had been verbally agreed and would help restore FUM lost in the market downturn of the year to November 30, during which Bellwether’s flagship Australian Share Fund added 3.8 per cent to the ASX 300.
Bellwether is owned by Bruce Bell along with members of his investment team, plus director and IOOF veteran Tony Hodges.
Bell said this sort of direct alignment best served investors and he has so far rebuffed four advances from boutique incubators, although he did not rule out giving up a stake in return for capital support over the next few months.
AFM Investment Partners is headed up by managing director, John Donovan, a former adviser to the Victorian Opposition Leader. It also counts the Trilogy Capital Group among clients it represents to the wholesale market.