Australian Unity Investments (AUI) has recruited from a competing boutique manager, Bennelong Funds Management, for its new head of institutional sales.

In the newly created role, Cirian McAssey will promote AUI’s offshore equity partners – global equities manager Wingate Asset Management and Asian equities shop Seres Asset Management – in addition to the property funds management arm of AUI.

McAssey, who was Bennelong’s Melbourne-based director of distribution for the past two years, joined in the role last week and reports to Adam Coughlan, general manager of institutional business and joint ventures at AUI.

AUI seeded Seres with $25 million last year, and will double that investment before July following the manager’s qualification for a trading licence from the Hong Kong market regulator in April, Coughlan said.

Meanwhile, Wingate recently received a bump in its $30 million under management after retail multi-manager Select Asset Management allocated a small amount of capital, Coughlan added.

AUI runs funds management joint ventures – covering international and domestic equities, fixed income and property – with eight boutiques.

McAssey’s experience at Bennelong should strengthen AUI’s efforts to garner institutional mandates, Coughlan said, acknowledging that his professional experience has mainly been in retail distribution. Before becoming head of institutional at AUI in January, Coughlan led the manager’s retail business and was previously head of national accounts with Colonial First State.


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