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Perpetual Investments fund shift

PERPETUAL Investments has adopted what it says is a “unique” approach to managing its Industrial Share Fund, one of Australia’s most popular managed funds.

The changes have been given a stamp of approval by research house ASSIRT, which “views these changes positively”.

Hitherto, management of the fund has been split equally between two portfolio managers, Peter Morgan and John Sevior.

They will retain responsibility for most of the fund but a third portfolio manager, Matt Williams, will take responsibility for 7 per cent of the fund, while a small portion has been given to each equity analyst to manage.

Mr Williams previously ran Perpetual’s Smaller Companies Fund, which was one of the best performing equities funds in Australia last year with a 24.5 per cent return.

The Industrial Share Fund also performed well in the year ending June 30, returning a positive 5.3 per cent when the market as a whole fell by a similar amount.

In a commentary on the changes, ASSIRT said they provide “diversification of responsibilities across the team and align analyst recommendations more closely with portfolio management decisions”.

“This unique portfolio management approach in the management of Australian equities provides Perpetual Investments an avenue for building team depth and ultimately succession planning,” ASSIRT said.

In a separate move, Perpetual recently closed its smaller companies fund to new wholesale investors following rapid growth. The fund remains open to retail investors.

It took this action to try and protect the returns of the fund, for the benefit of existing investors.

“It allows Perpetual to maintain its focus on delivering strong investment performance and to protect the interests of current investors, rather than seeking growth for growth’s sake,” the company said.

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