Alphinity bolsters ESG, research capabilities


Jessica Cairns

Leading Australian and global equities boutique fund manager, Alphinity Investment Management, has strengthened its ESG investing and research capabilities with a set of appointments, as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary.

Alphinity has appointed Jessica Cairns to the newly-created role of ESG & Sustainability Manager, a move which supports Alphinity’s efforts to more deeply integrate ESG-related matters across its domestic and global equities funds, including the high-performing Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund.

Jessica brings more than a decade of experience in supporting the sustainability elements of strategic projects. Her most recent role was as Senior Sustainability Advisor at Transurban, where she was responsible for the company’s response to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations and supported the delivery of sustainability initiatives to meet Transurban’s broader sustainability strategy. Prior to this she spent four years as a case manager at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, where she was responsible for helping infrastructure teams across the nation achieve better infrastructure sustainability. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours) from the University of Newcastle and a Diploma in Project Management from the University of New England.

Her appointment follows that of Jacob Barnes and Andrey Mironenko, both of whom joined Alphinity as Research Analysts earlier this year. Jacob joined from First State Super, where he was a senior investment analyst in its direct equities team. Prior to this he worked at private wealth manager Bailey Roberts Group as an equities analyst and portfolio manager. He is now focusing on consumer stocks as a member of the domestic equities team.

Andrey joined Alphinity after seven years with McKinsey in its Sydney, San Francisco, Moscow and Houston offices. Andrey spent four years in the firm’s strategy and corporate finance practice and worked extensively at McKinsey Global Institute where he contributed to a wide range of research, including on climate change, the impact of changing technology and the future of work. At Alphinity, Andrey focuses on information technology and chemical companies, as well as the Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund.

Alphinity Principal and Portfolio Manager Stephane Andre said all three were adding considerable value to Alphinity, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“Jessica is already playing an important role in assisting the Sustainable Share Fund Compliance Committee in refining the investment universe for the Fund which considers companies’ contribution towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Along with the analysts, she will also help to drive company and market engagements, and ensure Alphinity remains a leading thinker in ESG and SDG matters.”

“Jacob and Andrey’s work is also providing impact and has helped to deepen Alphinity’s fundamental research analytical capabilities, which underpin our investment philosophy,” Mr Andre said.

Alphinity has delivered consistently strong returns since it was established in 2010 by identifying opportunities across market cycles and investing in quality, undervalued companies with underestimated forward earnings expectations

Its Australian equity funds have all met their objectives, outperforming their respective benchmarks after fees over the market cycle, since Alphinity assumed management of them in September 2010.

In the ten years since inception the Alphinity Australian Share Fund delivered 8.1% p.a. and the Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund 9.1% p.a. (vs 7.3% p.a. for the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index) while the Alphinity Concentrated Australian Share Fund returned 9.1% p.a. (vs 7.3% for the S&P/ASX 200 Accumulation Index). Each of the Funds has experienced a strong Information Ratio, the measure of excess return delivered for the risk taken, of around 1 since inception.

Alphinity Principal and CEO Johan Carlberg said: “We’re excited about the future. Five years ago we added the global equity team which has demonstrated the strength of our investment process in international equity markets. With the recent additions to the team we are building on our traditional research strength, and evolving along with companies which are increasingly recognising that they need to succeed while demonstrating strong ESG and Sustainability credentials.”

Alphinity Investment Management is owned by its staff in conjunction with Fidante Partners, the funds management business of Challenger Limited.

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