Sydney-based investment company, Morphic Ethical Equities Fund Limited (ASX: MEC) today announced the acquisition of controlling interest by Ellerston Capital Limited (Ellerston) in its investment management company Morphic Asset Management Pty Limited (Morphic).
As per the announcement, Morphic would become a subsidiary of Ellerston and the founders of Morphic would continue to manage the funds under the specialist investment manager Ellerston, which would provide access to wider infrastructure and team of analysts to Morphic.
Meanwhile, Ellerston is an investment manager providing a range of investment services at a larger scale that includes separately managed accounts (SMAs), wholesale funds, retail offerings, innovative equity and alternative strategies
Morphic Asset Management Pty Limited (Morphic) was founded by Mr Jack Lowenstein and Mr Chad Slate and it currently manages two globally dedicated equity funds. It functions as a specialist investment manager dedicated to achieving high risk-adjusted returns from investing in global equities.
Chris Hall, Chief Investment Officer of Ellerston, said:
“As per his belief stewardship is crucial and it will be increasingly important in the future. Morphic fulfils a unique role in this space, being one of the few managers offering L/S ESG products and Ellerston is very excited to acquire a leading domestic ethical fund manager”
Managing Director and Joint CIO of Morphic, Jack Lowenstein, said:
“Morphic’s vision remains to be the leading ethical global equity manager in Australia.” He added that Morphic believes that under the wing of Ellerston, the company would gain access to Ellerston’s experienced investment team and would be able to substantially improve its reach to investors whose aim is to build wealth by following the principles of socially responsible investing. “Families invest for multi generations and ESG is about the long-term view of the world.”
Chairman of Morphic Ethical Equities Fund, JoAnna Fisher, said:
“The company believe this transaction is a positive development for the Fund, the increase in resources is a positive for the investment team and supports the Fund’s efforts in marketing to a wider set of investors”
On 28 May 2018, MEC released interim financial report for the period ended 31 March 2019, which demonstrated the company’s loss from ordinary activities after tax of $498,450 and $810,508 before, reflecting the subdued investment performance over the period. However, MEC announced a fully franked dividend of AUD 1 cent per share, payable on 19 July 2019.
NTA Performance (Source: Company’s Interim Financial Report)
Funds managed by Morphic including, Morphic Ethical Equities Fund Limited seeks to invest in businesses that do not harm the environment, people and society and excludes direct investments in companies involved in tobacco, alcohol, gambling, coal mining, oil and gas, intensive animal farming and aquaculture. Also, the fund is a signatory for Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
Investment Returns (Source: Company’s Interim Financial Report)
As at 31 May 2019, 3:23 PM AEST, MEC is trading at $0.895, down 1.648% from its previous close. The market capitalisation of the company is A$47.88 million, with approximately 52.62 million shares outstanding. Its year-to-date return is +5.81% despite a dip of 2.15% recorded in the past three months.
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