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Top hedge fund award goes to L1 Capital

Awards night shows traditional managers getting in on the act

L1 Capital has taken out the prestigious ‘Alternative Investment Manager of the Year Award’ at the annual Australian Alternative Investment Awards for 2021.

The award presentations were held in conjunction with the 20th anniversary Hedge Funds Rock charity dinner in Sydney last Friday night (December 10). They represented a welcome and lively return to normality after two years of disruption and worse, due to the pandemic.

The Melbourne-based L1 Capital, which has six Australian and international equities and property funds on offer, also won the ‘Best Listed Alternatives Investment Product’ award for its long/short equities strategy LIC and was a runner-up in the ‘Best Long/Short Equity Fund’ category.

  • Raphael Lamm

    The staff-owned firm was launched in 2007 by co-managing directors Raphael Lamm and Mark Landau. Its successes for the evening were accepted by Alexander Ordon, L1 Capital investment strategist.

    Mark Landau

    Lamm and Landau were both analysts and portfolio managers at smaller managers prior to forming L1 Capital – Lamm at Cooper Investors and Landau at Invesco Australia. They are not only joint managing directors of the business but also joint CIOs and joint managers of the two flagship strategies – the Australian equities long-only strategy and the long/short equity strategy, which was launched in 2014 and has returned 25 per cent a year net in five out of the six calendar years since.

    Judging by the names among finalists and winners on the night, it seems that big and traditional managers are encroaching further on the space of alternative managers.

    Traditional and established managers such as Perpetual Investments, Janus Henderson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, abrdn (the manager formerly known as Aberdeen Standard), Acadian Asset Management, Stewart Investors (part of First Sentier Investors), BlackRock (the world’s largest fund manager), Neuberger Berman and multi-affiliate Pinnacle Investment Management all featured as finalists or winners on the night.

    Pinnacle told the story. A sponsor for the first time, it was well-represented by founder Ian Macoun and chairman Alan Watson, head of retail distribution Rasmin Jajoo, and a table of senior executives.

    Macoun said before presenting the major award of the night that most of Pinnacle’s growth in future would come from the alternatives space.

    Pinnacle received the award for ‘Best Investor Supporting Australian Alternative Managers’. The firm last month announced its first private equity affiliate through a 25 per cent stake in Five V Capital.

    The awards night represented the 20th anniversary of Hedge Funds Rock. For the 20th time, Kim Ivey, one of the founding fathers of the hedge fund industry in Australia, presided over the event – 350 fund managers, investors and service providers getting together in person for the first time in two years.

    Ivey, the chairman of the Alternative Future Foundation, which oversees the charitable contributions, said: “The judging panel for this year’s awards was unanimously positive on the quality of the returns across all strategy classifications. Because risk-adjusted returns are being measured within strategy peer groups, we always find that managers which capture good upside returns with tight downside protection, do extremely well for their investors… and rank extremely high in our judging criteria.”

    He also said they were particularly pleased to add a new award, ‘Best Specialist ESG Manager’ to reflect the growing importance of ESG factors in the alternative investment industry and manager performance.

    That award was won by the Impax Sustainable Leaders fund, which had produced a massive 34.7 per cent return for the year to June. The award was appropriately sponsored by the global administration and data company Apex, an awards supporter which recently launched a specialist ESG information product in the region.

    In other popular investment categories, winners included BlackRock for ‘Best Offshore Manager Operating in Australia’, Metrics Credit for ‘Best Private Debt Fund’, Partners Group for ‘Best Multi-Strategy Fund’, Alceon for ‘Best Long/Short Equity Fund’ and Opal Capital Management for ‘Best Emerging Manager’.

    And the ‘Contribution to the Australian Hedge Fund Industry’ award was a big surprise to its recipient. It was to me, Greg Bright, the author of this report. I have been reporting on and helping others write about the hedge fund sector since I launched my first of many investment publications (Super Review) in 1987.

    It was largely because of hedge fund managers such as Kim Ivey that I became interested in the sector all those years ago. Hedge fund strategies are much more interesting to write about than traditional stock and bond portfolios. And, dare I say it, but hedge fund managers tend to be more interesting to interview.

    The winners and runners-up are:

    Award TitleFund Manager
     Best Emerging Manager
    WinnerOpal Capital Management
    Best Long/Short Equity Fund
    WinnerAlceon High Conviction Absolute Return Fund
    R/UL1 Capital Long Short Fund
    R/UMonash Absolute Investment Fund
    Best Market Neutral Fund
    WinnerKarara Market Neutral Plus Fund Series 1
    R/URegal Tasman Market Neutral Fund
    R/UPerpetual Pure Equity Alpha Fund
    Best Global Macro & Managed Futures Fund
    WinnerJanus Henderson Dynamic Trend Fund
    R/UJPMorgan Global Macro Opportunities Fund
    R/UBMO Pyrford Global Absolute Return Fund
    Best Multi-Strategy Fund
    WinnerPartners Group Global Multi-Asset Fund
    R/UAbrdn (Aberdeen Standard Investments)
    R/UPineBridge Global Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund
    Best Alternative Fixed Income & Credit fund
    WinnerAlexander Credit Opportunities Fund
    R/UTribeca Vanda Asia Credit Fund
    R/UPerpetual Wholesale Dynamic Fixed Income Fund 
    Best Private Debt Fund
    WinnerMetrics Credit – Secured Private Debt Fund I
    R/URevolution Private Debt Fund
    R/UManning Private Debt Fund
    Best Specialist ESG Fund
    WinnerImpax Sustainable Leaders
    R/UAcadian Wholesale Sustainable Global Equity Fund
    R/UStewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability Fund
    Best Offshore Manager Operating in Australia
    WinnerBlackrock Investment Management
    R/UNeuberger Berman
    R/UPartners Group
    Best Investor Supporting Australian Alternative Managers
    WinnerPinnacle Investment Management
    R/UIronbark Asset Management
    Best Listed Alternatives Investment Product
    WinnerL1 Long Short Fund
    R/UWAM Alternative Assets
    R/UBailador Technology Investments
    Contribution to the Australian Hedge Fund Industry
    Greg Bright
    Alternative Investment Manager of the Year
    L1 Capital

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