Michael Coop, longstanding senior consultant at Ibbotson Associates and its predecessor Intech, who was most recently head of multi-asset strategies, has returned to the UK to take up a job with an insurance company. Kevin Wan Lum, who was head of Australian equities, has also left to go to Vic Super. But five new faces have joined the firm in recent months.
Morningstar Inc., which owns Ibbotson, has been moving to better integrate its global investment teams in the past couple of years, with local CIO Andrew Lill having an Asia Pacific role and the former head of Australian investments, Daniel Needham, becoming London-based global CIO from 2013 of Morningstar Investment Management. Needham was earlier this year promoted to president and global CIO, based in global headquarters at Chicago.
Lill said last week that, while Morningstar was sorry to see both Coop and Wan Lum depart, the firm had recruited five more investment staff in the region so far this year. They include Bryce Anderson, a former portfolio manager with IAG Asset Management, as Wan Lum’s replacement, and Vesna Peroska, portfolio manager, who has research experience at Credit Suisse Asset Management and Russell Investments.
Lill, who will be acting head of multi-asset strategies for the time being, said that Ibbotson’s multi-manager and internal portfolios had increased assets under management by 38 per cent to more than A$6 billion in the past 12 months, and the staffing reflected that growth.
Coop, who joined Intech in 2003 after he moved to Australia from London in the late 1990s to join BT Funds Management, was the head of alternatives at Ibbotson until last year. He was replaced by Craig Stanford in that role. Wan Lum joined Ibbotson in 2012 from one of Pengana Capital’s hedge fund teams. Prior to that he was a portfolio manager at QIC.
Like most multi-manager firms, Ibbotson is experiencing strong demand for outcome-oriented investment strategies and products, which generally require a sophisticated multi-asset underlying process to deliver the required outcome.
Lill, who was attending a Morningstar conference in Chicago along with Needham and other global and regional leaders when he spoke last week, said the group was building its business in Asia Pacific with its Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo offices being fully integrated with the Morningstar research system.
The privately owned Intech Investment Consulting business, which was one of the early adopters of multi-manager portfolios, or implemented consulting, was bought first by Skandia, in 2006, then IOOF, then Morningstar, in 2009, where it has finally settled down. Needham joined Intech in 2002 prior to its first sale. Morningstar had already acquired US-based Ibbotson, which did not have an implemented offering, in 2006.
* Greg Bright is publisher of Investor Strategy News (Australia)