Touchstone launches index unaware Australian equities fund

4 April 2016

Touchstone Asset Management, a Bennelong boutique, has launched the Touchstone Index Unaware Fund for retail and institutional investors.

The fund seeks to invest in reasonably priced, good quality companies with a significant share of expected returns coming from sustainable dividends.  It is a concentrated portfolio with a 'Quality-At-A-Reasonable-Price' (QARP) investment style that takes into account both risk and expected return.

Touchstone Asset Management was established in July 2015 as a joint venture with Bennelong Funds Management. It is majority-owned by highly experienced Principals Jack Chemello, Suellen Morgan and Mary Feros.

The Principals said the fund aims to take advantage of the unique features of the Australian share market to create an investment opportunity with a long-term focus on generating strong total returns, whilst preserving capital.

“The Australian equity market is one of the most concentrated in the developed world, making it difficult to get a well-diversified investment portfolio if built around our index.

“Equities are also facing a prolonged lower return environment as a consequence of the un-wind of the credit cycle globally.

“With the above in mind, the Touchstone investment process considers both quality and expected returns of companies.

“To help mitigate risk, we can hold up to 50% of the fund in cash, and typically will invest in between 15 to 20 stocks, meaning we must have very high conviction in the companies we invest in,” said the Principals.

The fund seeks to outperform its index (the S&P/ASX300 Accumulation Index) by 200 basis points p.a. (over five years).

The Touchstone team averages 20 years of industry experience, with each Principal having successfully managed multi-billion dollar equity portfolios. Their shared work history enhances their collaborative approach to investing, reflected in the shared responsibility for investment strategy and portfolio construction amongst the Principals.


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