Charlie Aitken, the stockbroker known for his market comment emails Ringing the Bell and Under the Southern Cross at Bell Financial Group, has gone out on his own with a $300 million managed fund.
Aitken Investment Management starts with $150 million from the family of billionaire Kerry Stokes and another $150 million is being raised from smaller investors.
“I don’t want to be anti-Australia,” Aitken told the Australian Financial Review. “But the way I approach it is that Australia (stocks) is for income, and the rest of the world is for growth.”
Aitken says the fund, which is due to begin trading in July, is a global absolute return fund not limited it to any asset class.
“I look at the US activist hedge funds who are aggressive, concentrate their bets, back themselves and take a medium term view,” he says. “Those are the guys who I look up to and study.”
At the moment, he’s cautious on Australian stocks. He says: “Australia is full of cosy oligopolies – which breed complacency and arrogance – which is ripe for disruption. You’ve seen it slightly in supermarkets, you’ve seen it in free-to-air television, arguably seeing it at the edges in the banks and through the rise of second tier telcos. There’s a danger in incumbency.”
Aitken says he always wanted to run his own fund. It’s in the family.
“My father John founded the Perpetual Industrial Fund in 1966,” he told The Australian newspaper. “That’s been one of the most successful funds in Australian history.”