The silver aeroplane cuff links he wears were a gift, says Craig Hobart. The Beechcraft Twin Bonanza is not.

A photograph of the plane, the last of its type to come out of its factory and used during the Vietnam War, sits on the Tyndall Investment Management Ltd. managing director’s desk.

Hobart has flown about 700 hours. This year he may resume flying his Twin Bonanza for Angel Flight, which ferries the sick from the bush to city hospitals.

It is not just Hobart who has reached high elevations. Tyndall’s light filled offices on the top floor of a downtown Sydney building holds 70 people, 20 of whom were hired last year.

“We’re well positioned,” says Hobart.

Tyndall in Australia manages about $17 billion in bonds. It manages about $4.5 billion in Australian stocks, wining a $1 billion mandate from Colonial First Choice last year. It employs 24 people dedicated to investments.

The bond and equities teams are cloistered behind floor to ceiling glass offices that wall them off from Tyndall’s other business units.

“We’re expecting to see lower absolute returns” in 2012, says Hobart. “People may gravitate to risk assets as rates come down.”

He says fund management companies are examining how to cut costs amid anaemic returns or losses.

But Hobart warns that if fund managers buy investment capability based on price rather than quality “it will be a retrograde step for the industry.”

“Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean good value,” says Hobart.

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