Zenith awards Bennelong Kardinia Absolute Return Fund 'highly recommended'

5 September 2011

Zenith Investment Partners (Zenith) has awarded its highest accolade, ‘highly recommended', to Bennelong Funds Management's absolute return fund, the Bennelong Kardinia Absolute Return Fund.

The result of a recent partnership between Bennelong Funds Management (Bennelong) and Kardinia Capital (Kardinia), which is majority-owned and managed by co-portfolio managers Mark Burgess and Kristiaan Rehder, Kardinia offers a long/short Australian equities capability with an absolute return focus.

Zenith director, David Smythe, believes Kardinia's arrangement with Bennelong will "elevate the portfolio managers' capabilities and strategy up the ranks, given it marries together a ‘first class' back office/non-investment capability with a highly regarded investment team and process".

Trustee and management responsibilities of the Absolute Return Fund were transferred to Bennelong on 16 August this year, and the Fund was renamed the Bennelong Kardinia Absolute Return Fund.

Strong track record

Having managed the fund since 2006, Mark has invested using the same principles and process for the past six years and remains its "chief architect". Zenith sees Mark and Kristiaan as a "strong, collegiate team with a significant track record" which was particularly highlighted during the global financial crisis when the fund delivered 0.3%, compared with "two other highly rated long/short funds that returned -20.7% and -18.7%".

With an investment objective of achieving double-digit returns through an investment cycle, according to Zenith's review the fund has been able to achieve this and "significantly outperform the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index" over the periods Zenith examined. "In line with the fund's focus on capital protection, it has an excellent track record of outperformance in falling markets," the report said.

Given its "exceptional track record", Zenith is surprised the fund has flown under the radar of many investors, considering it to be an 'undiscovered gem' in the long/short marketplace.

Portfolio Manager of the Bennelong Kardinia Absolute Return Fund, Mark Burgess, said he was thrilled with the Zenith rating and to be acknowledged for their consistently strong performance. "We're looking forward to growing our fund and harnessing Bennelong's distribution capabilities to offer the fund to a broader range of investors," Mark said.