Australian Unity Investments is looking to hire an institutional BDM and a consultant relationships manager as it ramps up its presence in the institutional market and seeks ratings and platform inclusion for a fund run by one of its Melbourne-based boutique joint venture partners.

AUI has roughly 40 institutional clients invested across its funds but is looking to market its property trusts, including the $450 million Healthcare Property Trust and $366 million Retail Property Fund more actively in the super fund space.

The Retail Property Fund, an open unlisted property fund focusing on retail related property investments, was formed in February by combining six existing property trusts.

AUI will also put Wingate’s Global Equity Income Fund, which has $40 million in assets under management, traditionally high net worth individuals and family offices, in front of research houses and asset consultants over the next six months in a bid to get ratings and platform inclusion and subsequently attract institutional fund flow.

Adam Coughlan, general manager – retail at AUI, said Wingate is looking to hire a senior analyst to support principals Chad Padowitz and Joel Beebe in this next phase.

“Those things coming together and us not having an institutional presence currently, we’re going to start recruiting in that area, initially looking for an institutional BDM,” he said.

“We’ll also be looking for somebody to do consultant relationships, to start talking to the asset consultants about our product offerings more generally.”

The hires are partly to replace Claire Harding, who has been head of research relationships at AUI for 18 months. Harding is taking on the newly created role of head of AUI’s portfolio management team, which is responsible for a number of internal funds and property funds and works with the joint venture partners helping to manage cash flows within the retail trusts.

“With her focus starting to change we want to replace her but also at the same time we hadn’t been doing any consultant relationships in her role, so we’re looking to expand that,” Coughlan said.

Having spent just over two years building AUI’s retail capabilities, Coughlan will now take on responsibility for building the institutional business.

“When I joined I recruited Cameron Dickman to be head of retail distribution for our retail efforts, and the business is running smoothly under Cameron’s guidance,” he said.

“For me it will also be to try to help drive the direction in the institutional market with those new recruits reporting to me.”

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