Macquarie Private Bank has appointed its first dedicated chief investment officer to oversee high net worth clients’ billions.

Robert Credaro, formerly a head of asset allocation within Macquarie Funds Group and most recently a portfolio manager of its private equity fund-of-funds, has moved into the Private Bank CIO role to allow the bank’s CEO, Guy Hedley, more time to focus on its Asian growth strategy.

Hedley said someone of Credaro’s asset allocation skill was required to uphold the Bank’s “endowment theory” of portfolio construction, which he described as similar to that practised by the Harvard and Yale endowments, and which required the Bank “to be able to assess and buy any asset anywhere in the world, whether it’s a hedge fund out of the Caymans or a private company in Spain”.

Part of Credaro’s brief will be to enable Macquarie Private Bank to execute institutional-size mandates in managed funds or direct investments, by getting approval from enough clients to “club together”, as Hedley said had happened in such recent direct investment deals as Thames Water and Victoria’s desalination plant.

Hedley said the Private Bank’s Australian client base, exclusively those with more than $5 million of financial assets, was roughly invested 50:50 between direct shares and managed funds in Australian equities, while the proportion of directly-held global equities was increasing from a low base as Macquarie Equities built up its regional capabilities.

Hedley is focussed on growing Macquarie’s presence in Asia’s “ultra high net worth” market, classed as those individuals with more than $30 million in financial assets. He said the wealthier target market complemented Macquarie’s investment banking aspiration in Asia, given that rich individuals and families dominated the ownership of major companies in a way they did not in shareholder democracies like Australia.

A Macquarie spokesperson said Credaro would not be immmediately replaced in the private equity division, given the moderate level of activity in the asset class at present. Alternative investments division director Michael Lukin will oversee the private equity fund-of-funds portfolio.






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