Clime ramps up private wealth

Clime Investment Management is looking to hire more financial advisers, expand its investment offering and potentially acquire advice books as it builds out its private wealth business.

The 23-year-old firm managed $887 million at March end. It has traditionally managed equities funds for the wholesale investors but dipped its toes into private wealth advisory last year following demand from its investor base.

At the same time, it is trying to tap retail investors through financial advice networks, and is expecting to receive ratings for its funds later this month.

"Our top priorities are building the private wealth advisory business and supporting financial advisers with Clime's quality investment products and lastly, acquisition opportunities as they arise" Clime Investment Management chief executive Rod Bristow told Financial Standard.

"We are looking to add at least two to three advisers over the next few months to build out our national presence."

The advisory side's approved product list includes Clime's stable of equities and fixed income funds and other options from external managers. It also invests in commercial, large-format retail and industrial assets through three managers including unlisted Prime West and ASX-listed APN and Elanor Investors Group.

"The areas that we are seeing the most enquiries from our clients are yield products, private equity and emerging markets equities," Bristow said.

He ruled out starting an Asian equities investment team in-house but says Clime is willing to acquire or partner with a manager in the asset class.

"We expect the asset management sector to come under more pressure as superannuation funds take their investments in-house. We are looking at a few potential acquisition options but don't have anything definitive as yet," he said.

The ASX-listed business has about $10 million on its balance sheet and is willing to acquire advice businesses that come up for sale.

"In terms of acquisitions, so far we have built our private wealth business organically. We wouldn't rule out an acquisition if the heritage of the business is built around wholesale clients. We are not licensed to provide retail advice and hence are not interested in acquiring retail advice businesses," he said.

Bristow, who joined Clime last year from MacroVue, said Clime has about 3000 investors through all its vehicles.

"With private wealth, our goal is to double the number of clients over the next three years," he said.

Read more: Clime Investment ManagementAPNElanor Investors GroupMacroVuePrime WestRod Bristow
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