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A tidy $200m for our members

14 February 2018

Qantas Super has reaped a whopping $200 million from the recent historic sale of the Asian renewable energy company, Equis. This money will all go into your super – you’ll see it through higher investment returns.

Chief Investment Officer, Andrew Spence talks about…

This investment win

“In 2011 we identified Asian renewable energy as an attractive investment opportunity. We needed to find a high quality, investment partner to help us implement a compelling strategy in that space.  After a thorough due diligence process, we identified Equis Funds Group as our ideal investment partner in renewables – they had an experienced and very capable investment team, as well as a compelling strategy to capture the upside of the nascent Asian renewables sector. We invested $80 million. When Equis Energy was sold earlier this year, we received $200 million. That’s a profit of $120 million for our members.

Making confident decisions and thinking ahead of the game

“We get to see a constant stream of interesting investment opportunities and managers.  The challenge is to identify which combination of strategy and partners best meets our specific investment needs.”

“Qantas Super has a reputation for being a thoughtful and innovative investor who is willing to embrace new ideas.  We tend to be an early adopter and often back experienced people who are looking to build their own investment businesses.  Sorting the ‘wheat from the chaff’ requires plenty of experience and judgement but the Investment team thrives on this challenge.”

Access to big offers

“As a corporate super fund, we’re able to access high quality institutional offerings where we have the opportunity to make major investments in attractive opportunities.  This is almost impossible to do via an SMSF because they don’t have the scale of assets necessary to attract such opportunities.  We conduct extensive due diligence to ensure the investment opportunity and choice of partner are suitable for our needs.  We then negotiate attractive commercial terms and protections that give us a high level of control over how members’ money is invested, as well as ensuring the investment uses a very tax effective structure.”

Leveraging relationships

“This sort of investing is personal because its relationship driven. You’re backing ideas and high quality proven investment professionals.”

Right team leading to strong outcomes

“It’s about having the right team, right skills, right experience. We have these critical skills in-house. And we choose investment partners with integrity and proven track records who are philosophically aligned to our approach, so we’re confident in them.

“For example, when it came to investing in Equis, an Asian renewable energy infrastructure manager which has reaped our members $200 million, we saw other super funds were looking to invest in Europe or US. But we couldn’t see how to generate a sufficiently attractive risk adjusted return (after fees and taxes) there. We preferred the upside potential of investing in Asian renewables which was seen as a bold move given there weren’t many people investing there at that time.

“Six years later, and the returns we’ve generated from investing in Equis have been fantastic. For every $1 invested, Equis Energy returned $2.50 over the life of the investment.  An excellent result for Qantas Super members.”

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