A $44 billion US equity manager is debating opening an office in Australia after retaining clients in the market for a decade.
Charles Brandes, founder of Brandes Investment Partners,said the $44 billion US equity manager was seriously considering establishing a presence in Australia.
The ranking of Australia’s 1.3 trillion pensions asset pool as the fourth largest pension in the world by Towers Watson in its Global Pension Asset Study 2011, made the market attractive, Brandes said.
“We have some very good clients here and have been here for 10 years. We think that the Australian marketplace is very attractive because what they’re doing here compared to the rest of the world, from some standpoints, is quite positive and the superannuation plans are good, quite positive plans.”
Brandes Investment Partners institutional portfolio manager, Juan Benito, echoed his boss, but said the sophistication of investors in Australia was also appealing.
“You have the mandatory [superannuation] contributions; that attracts everybody. We aren’t necessarily attracted because of that, we are attracted because we like the way they are organised, we like that they are defined-contribution plans managed by professionals […] with a long-term view which matches the way we like to do things,” Benito said.
Benito said the Australian dollar’s should be harnessed to buy global equities and lessen investors’ home-country bias.
“Australia has a very strong home bias … because of the good past performance of Australian markets Australia is probably at the high end of home bias compared to many other markets and if anything, this would be a great time to move away from that,” said Benito.
“Right now, with the Australian dollar so expensive, and with the good run you’ve had, and overpriced securities in Australia, this is a great time to start making the switch.”