Peter Hall is about to step down as chief investment officer of Hunter Hall, the ASX-listed ethical investment company he founded.
The ethical investment pioneer started the company in 1993 with the aim of doing good in the world and achieving excellent long term results for investors.
Today the company, which listed on the ASX in 2004 and now has $1 billion in funds under management, went into a trading halt pending an announcement on Hall’s resignation.
In 2016, the company’s investment portfolio increased by 12.3% after all fees and expenses, outperforming both the global and Australian equity markets.
In a letter to investors, Hall says: “The world is an uncertain place with much complexity, huge opportunities and many risks. The only way to navigate through is to have a strong moral compass and a sound investment philosophy and process.”
In the company’s latest annual report, Hall says he continues to see vulnerability in the global market with high equity valuations, slowing economies, high sovereign debt levels and over-leveraged financial institutions in China, Italy, Germany and other states.
“Of great concern is that central banks and governments may have run out of fiscal and monetary firepower as fiscal deficits are high, money printing is becoming increasingly less effective and a huge portion of the world’s bonds have negative yields,” he says.
“Governments may have to resort to explicit money printing due to reduced tax receipts from slowing economies.
“We will continue to hold high cash and gold weightings, and favour defensive economies such as Australia while avoiding high risk areas such as the international banking industry, Europe and China.”