The BlueRock Investment Philosophy
The BlueRock Investment Philosophy is a set of core principles and beliefs that guide our investment decision making process. The application of our Investment Philosophy is reflected in the way your investment portfolio is constructed and managed.
Portfolio Asset Allocation
Different investment assets offer varying risk and return trade-offs. The fundamental concept that underpins asset allocation is diversification, that is, investing across different asset classes with different risk and return characteristics. We believe effective asset allocation is a cornerstone of portfolio risk management and can only occur when it is implemented across a number of levels – across asset classes, assets within each asset class, and through different investment vehicles.
We have a strong, strategic relationship with Morningstar, a global research investment house. Morningstar have invested considerable time and resources into effective risk profiling techniques and asset allocation methodology that we utilise as a starting and ongoing reference point. This research, along with other external macro- economic research, is coupled with specific asset allocation views driven by the BlueRock Investment Committee, particularly those of Craig Ferguson, Director of Antipodean Capital.
An overarching focus on protecting client wealth remains at the heart of our investment philosophy. This involves actively managing exposures across sectors, themes and geographic regions, and the use of cash.
Historically, investment markets are efficient in the long term but are volatile and therefore inefficient in the short to medium term. We believe that both passive and active management have a place in portfolios to deliver a flexible, proactive, value-added approach over different investment cycles.
We apply a Dynamic Asset Allocation approach to add value to portfolios because prices do diverge from fair value in the shorter to medium term. This approach allows shifts in asset allocations in order to attempt to capture excess returns or avoid excessive risk of low returns. As a result, we may at times move away from our predetermined growth and defensive asset allocations within the various levels of risk. We follow a strict due diligence process and ongoing management process to such deviations.
Overarching our approach to portfolio construction is a focus on cost efficiency, the effective use of technology to efficiently manage client portfolios, and ongoing communication and education for our clients to ensure they remain informed and comfortable that their investments are working for them.
Our investment selection involves an intensive process that draws on available research and market opinions, which incorporates the use of our own technical analysis to identify entry and exit points.
We may invest in a variety of investment vehicles, such as direct shares, Listed Investment Companies (LICs), Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and specialist managed funds.
Investment selection is driven first and foremost by asset allocation targets. For example, whether the Investment Committee has a more positive view on the Australian Share Market vs the broader Global Share Market. Deeper dive asset class considerations such as different share market sectors, geographic regions or market capitalisation (e.g. larger companies vs smaller companies) allow specific asset allocation targets to be set. Once these asset class objectives have been determined, the Investment Committee runs a quantitative (numbers focused) screen over all available investments in that sector to provide a top quartile, target group of investments (based on quality of investment, cost, and capacity to outperform its peer group). The Investment Committee on most occasions will meet then with the Portfolio Manager of each potential investment, to complete a Qualitative review, which is focused on a range of factors such as manager experience, risk management, competitive advantage, etc. This is performed initially and ongoing.
The BlueRock Investment Committee meets formally, on a monthly basis, to assess the performance and structure of the BlueRock investment options. The objectives of the quarterly BlueRock Investment Committee meetings (as outlined in the Committee’s charter) include:
- Review action taken following the last committee meeting.
- Review the performance of investment options vs benchmark.
- Review the asset allocation of investment options vs benchmark weightings and agreed Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA).
- Discuss the asset allocation and portfolio composition in light of current and anticipated macroeconomic trends.
- Review the specific investment performance against benchmarks and portfolio objectives.
- Propose changes to asset allocation and portfolio composition in light of market movements, anticipated returns, or macroeconomic conditions.
- Present new investment ideas which have passed minimum investment filtering required to be considered for portfolio inclusion.
- Evaluate the quality of research obtained and resources utilised to ensure a high standard.
- Gareth de Maid, Investment Director of BlueRock Private Wealth – Chair
- Adam Morse, Managing Director of BlueRock Private Wealth
- Craig Ferguson, Managing Director of Antipodean Capital
- Jesse Imer, Fixed Income Specialist of Mason Stevens
Gareth de Maid
Gareth’s role as an Investment Director for BlueRock Private Wealth and Chairperson of the Investment Committee sees him responsible for overseeing the multi asset portfolio allocations and underlying investments for clients.
Sensitive to the tax impact, structure and personal needs of clients, across a broad range of portfolio solutions, Gareth is focused on portfolio construction and the need to balance risk and return.
Prior to joining BlueRock, Gareth managed investment portfolios and gave strategic advice to significant personal investors and Family Office clients within ANZ Private Bank, utilising a broad range of listed and unlisted investments across the risk curve.
Following a long tenure at ANZ, Gareth also managed portfolios and strategic advice on behalf of a multi-family office, again across various underlying asset classes and investments.
Adam founded the wealth management division of BlueRock in 2014 and has been an active contributor in the Financial Planning industry since 2005. Adam is a Certified Financial Planner®, a board member of the BlueRock Group, and is primarily focused on the continued evolution of best practice wealth advice, encompassing strategic advice, succession planning and portfolio construction, primarily for business owners, and family office.
Adam’s role on the committee is multi-faceted, in being practically responsible for its effective operation, linking the function of the committee to the strategy of BlueRock and the best interest of clients, whilst also contributing to macroeconomic discussions, asset allocation, portfolio thematics and investment manager selection.
Adam has a high conviction view that traditional investment management models will continue to come under extreme pressure both in terms of operation and cost, and that the Managed Discretionary Account structure, coupled with a strong and experienced Investment Committee, allows advisory firms to deliver a more nimble and cost efficient investment solution to clients. This provides the capacity to quickly manage risk, and take advantage of opportunities, as they arise.
Director of Strategy at Antipodean Capital, Craig formerly worked with JP Morgan (1994-2003) as a currency and bond trader, and was head of their cross-market technical analysis (macro) group between 1999-2003 when his team was regularly ranked top three in the world. Craig is the most recent addition to the committee with a strong focus on Asset Allocation, governance and investment manager selection.
Craig consults to a range of highly regarded investment committees including the Future Fund, ANZ, Australian Super, large foundations, and others. He is a sought after commentator and consultant and is highly regarded by his peers.
Craig has worked very closely with the BlueRock team throughout 2019 and into 2020 to enhance the asset allocation and investment manager due diligence and selection process, with a focus on industry best practice.
Jesse has 12 years’ finance experience, with the last 10 working in front office roles. He has sales, trading and investment analysis experience across money market, fixed income and foreign exchange markets. Jesse has a strong interest in the interposition of interest rates, credit and the Australian economy.
His direct experience from both advising clients across local councils, superannuation funds, government agencies and fund managers – and investing on behalf of bank treasury – have given him a breadth of insights into the construction and management of defensive portfolios.
Jesse’s market experience was developed through roles at National Australia Bank, Curve Securities, Bloomberg and State Street Bank and Trust. Jesse’s experience extends beyond the world of Central Banking and fixed income into the Global Macro Economic landscape, which provides a complimentary skillset to the other members of the Investment Committee.
Given the role Mason Stevens provide in the execution of portfolios, representation on the BlueRock Investment Committee is both a compliance requirement, and value add for clients.