The award recognises the Victorian based, owned and operated Fund Manager that has demonstrated the greatest innovation in their investment strategies and business operations.

The 2012 MFSS Award for Victorian Innovation was awarded to River Capital.

Since its establishment in 1996, River Capital has grown from a small team managing the investments of a small number of family related investors, to a highly regarded investment manager servicing the needs of more than 200 private investors and family offices across a suite of investment funds and individually managed accounts.

River Capital remains privately owned and independent from the influence of any large financial services group.

The judging panel was impressed that River Capital Credit Fund is an innovative product which provides access for investors to a range of opportunities from global credit markets which they could not invest in directly themselves. This may be due to a lack of global relationships, the requirement for minimum parcel sizes, difficulties in managing currency and interest rate exposures, or in implementing appropriate custody /settlement arrangements.

Investors in the Fund have been able to achieve a reliable and consistent income stream, with a cash yield exceeding ASX listed hybrids by 3% for comparable or less risk, and with a high degree of capital security over the medium term.

Judges were impressed by how the fund has addressed a need for investors with a low risk appetite in the post-GFC economy.River Capital’s implementation of risk management controls and their family office organizational structure, send positive signals to investors.

A special commendation award was given to SG Hiscock & Company.

SG Hiscock & Company (SGH) is a boutique investment manager, established in August 2001, and is 100% owned by its staff. Since its inception in August 2001, SGH has grown from $5 million to $1.7 billion as at 31st December 2011.

The judging panel was impressed that SGH’s ICE Fund, which was submitted for the Award, has shown considerable innovation in investing in ASX listed companies which have a sustainable competitive advantage, evidenced by an established or emerging business franchise.

The strategy focuses on business model quality and the potential expansion of the franchise. The portfolio delivers more consistent and more certain earnings growth (as evidenced the double digit growth over the past 5 years) than the overall market.

The winner of last year’s award was La Trobe Financial Services.

Australian Centre of Financial Studies Executive Director Professor Deborah Ralston commented “the strength and number of applicants for the award highlights the innovation and dynamism that is present in Melbourne’s Funds Management sector and its integral part in Victoria’s financial services sector.”


Background

The Melbourne Financial Services Symposium (MFSS) for over 14 years has brought together global and local industry leaders and experts to engage with funds management and superannuation professionals across industry, government and academe. The Symposium also plays host to 2 Industry Awards namely – The Victorian Innovation in Funds Management Award and the VFMC Investment Stewardship Award.

The MFSS is hosted by ACFS on behalf of the Victorian financial services community. The Symposium together with the Gala Dinner is considered the premier annual event for the Funds Management industry in Melbourne.

About the Australian Centre for Financial Studies

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies facilitates industry-relevant and rigorous research and consulting, thought leadership and independent commentary. Drawing on expertise from academia, industry and government, the Centre promotes excellence in financial services. The Centre specialises in leading edge finance and investment research, aiming to boost the global credentials of Australia’s finance industry; bridging the gap between research and industry and supporting Australia and Melbourne as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.

Media contact details:

Prof Deborah Ralston
Executive Director