Ausbil looks to UK for overseas expansion

17 June 2019

Ausbil chief executive Ross Youngman has indicated the firm could target the UK market as it considers expanding its global footprint and launching funds offshore.

Youngman, who had worked as chief executive since 2017 and was previously head of institutional business, joined Ausbil from Five Oceans Asset Management in 2015.

He said: “Because of our relationship with New York Life [which acquired Ausbil in 2014], we have a strong global footprint so all markets are open to us.

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“In particular, there are a lot of similarities with the UK so that is somewhere we would need to look at. Japan is also a strong market for global listed infrastructure and that is right on our doorstep.”

The firm had already been taking steps to become more accessible for overseas investors by launching two global funds, in addition to its existing Australian equities funds. These were the $46 million Global Essential Infrastructure fund, which launched in December, and the $22 million Global SmallCap fund which launched last May.

He said: “We have expanded beyond just Australian equities and started to manage global strategies. We already have a position in the market for Australian equities and are well supported by financial planners here so we have taken this approach and also added it to global strategies.”

Youngman said Ausbil intended the infrastructure fund, in particular, to be exported to international markets as it could provide a consistent income via quarterly distribution which was appealing to those investors in retirement.

“We are going back to basics with the infrastructure fund such as toll roads, airports and tunnels, those assets that are able to generate returns even in the face of a downturn.

“There is a need to look for products that have an income bias and offer a consistent income and we expect these types of infrastructure assets to be resilient because of the regulatory aspect.”

Since its launch in December 2018, the fund has returned 19.8 per cent versus returns of 14.1 per cent by the ACS Equity- Infrastructure sector, according to FE Analytics.

Although it was keen to expand overseas, despite the firm’s US strategic partner in New York Life, Youngman said America was not a market Ausbil was considering in the near term.

“The US is more complicated for us from a regulatory perspective but it is something we would look at in the future.”

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