Leading ethical investment and superannuation provider Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX: AEF) has announced it has exceeded AUD 2 billion funds under management, a 100% increase since 2015.
March 2017 was a record month for the superannuation fund with net inflows of $32.1 million and record new members of 1,053.
“This is a significant milestone for Australian Ethical and for ethical investing in Australia,” said Australian Ethical Managing Director Phil Vernon. “It clearly demonstrates the rising tide of ethical investment and that Australians are increasingly seeing their investment decisions as powerful levers for effecting change.
“People are also coming to understand it is possible to have professional investment management that actively addresses widespread ethical concerns.
“Our sustained growth is attributed to our leadership position in a rapidly growing segment of the market. Our long-term investment track record, high ethical conviction and fully featured products covering all asset classes are unique in the market. Our ongoing strategy to progressively reduce our fees has also contributed to our success.”
The company also announced a forecast Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) for the 12 months ending 30 June 2017 of between $2.2 and $2.6 million. Underlying Profit (UPAT) is expected to be between $3.9m and $4.3 million.
To drive continued growth of the ethical investment sector, Australian Ethical has further strengthened its senior team in its Sales and Marketing area over the past 12 months with the appointment of:
• Ms Allyson Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer,
• Ms Leah Waldie, Head of Client Relationships, and
• Ms Lauren Hogbin, Senior Manager Strategic Marketing.
It has also strengthened its team in its finance and operations area with the appointments of:
• Mr Mark Shanahan, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer,
• Ms Karen Hughes, Chief Risk Officer
• Ms Kathy Kung, Head of Finance
• Mr Mark Simons, Head of Product Finance
Mr Vernon added: “The past year has been one of considerable change for the business as we position ourselves for continued future growth. These new additions to the team give us a strong platform to drive growth whilst tightly managing our risk. ”
Ms Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer, is responsible for customer experiences across B2B and B2C channels. She joins the team from NAB/MLC and brings over 20 years’ of experience in financial services, with senior roles at InvestSMART, Bell Direct, St George Wealth and BT Financial Group.
Ms Waldie, Head of Client Relationships, will work with Ms Lowbridge to drive B2B relationships at Australian Ethical, including financial planners, platform providers, employers and institutional clients. Ms Waldie joins the team following seven years at IOOF, most recently as Head of Key Accounts, and before that Barclays and BT Financial Group.
Ms Hogbin, Senior Manager Strategic Marketing, will also work with Ms Lowbridge on marketing and brand strategy, and joins the team from Charter Hall where she also held the position of Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing and prior to that, as a senior marketer with Citi.
Mr Shanahan, CFO and COO, brings over 25 years’ experience in financial services to Australian Ethical, having most recently worked as CFO – Banking and Financial Services at Macquarie Group.
Karen Hughes joins Australian Ethical as Chief Risk Officer, responsible for risk and compliance across the group. Karen’s previous role was with Stateplus (formerly State Super Financial Services) where she was General Manager Risk and Compliance. She has held senior roles at Tyndall Australia, Jardine Fleming and Price WaterhouseCoopers.
Kathy Kung, Head of Finance, is responsible for all corporate accounting, statutory reporting and business performance analysis for the company and subsidiaries. Prior to Australian Ethical, Kathy was Director, Group Financial Controller with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and has held various finance roles in BAML and Price Waterhouse Coopers.Mark Simons, Head of Product Finance is responsible for managing the finance operations and outsourced operations for our managed funds and superannuation products. Mark comes from Challenger Limited where he held various finance roles across property and funds management and has held senior roles with Perpetual Limited, Tyndall Limited and KPMG.