Boutique hires from Ellerston Capital

A Melbourne global equities boutique has added to its team with a hire from Ellerston Capital, as it confirms its partnership with Channel Capital.

Bell Asset Management has just appointed Melissa Ridley as an institutional client manager.

She was most recently Ellerston's investor relations lead.

The boutique is partnering with Glen Holding's multi-affiliate Channel Capital, as first reported by Financial Standard on September 13.

"We wanted to build out our presence in retail and wholesale market," BAM chief investment officer Ned Bell said in an interview yesterday.

"We had very high-level discussions with a couple of firms but it never got anywhere. Channel really stuck out to us and we both feel we can build out a global presence in global equities, where there are a lot of opportunities."

The partnership will see Channel take on the boutique's wholesale and retail distribution.

However, BAM will continue to do its own institutional distribution, led by Rob Sullivan, and its own back office services.

It will also continue to run a Sydney office, which has four distribution/client services staff.

The funds are rated by Zenith and Lonsec. They are currently going through their yearly reviews. Bell says the firm is in an ongoing dialog with Morningstar.

Retail, insto split

The firm had $2.5 billion in assets under management at September end, after adding about $500 million since start of the year.

"It is predominately institutional clients. I would say 90% of that [$2.5 billion] is institutional clients," Bell said.

The boutique has built a strong base of insto clients (40% of these are overseas), attracting them in part, through eVestment.

"We haven't set a specific target. Both of us are very confident that we have a strong alignment between businesses. We are both prepared to allocate the resources and we are very optimistic," he said.

"From a management perspective we want to have a healthy mix between two [insto and retail FUM]. We have got a good strong pipeline in US and Europe for our institutional clients."

The boutique is owned 59% by staff and directors and the remaining is held by Bell Group Holdings.

Read more: Channel CapitalEllerston CapitalBell Asset ManagementGlen HoldingMelissa RidleyMorningstarNed BellRob Sullivan
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