WAM Is Circling Aurora
Investors support the White Knight’s second stab at freeing the Aurora’s unitholders.
Three well-known, ASX-listed funds have announced Extraordinary General Meetings called by their own investors, or unitholders. Leading the charge of unitholders is the team at Wilson Asset Management (WAM) in their second attempt to free Aurora’s investors from their misguided managers sitting at Aurora Funds Management (Aurora).
In speaking with Aurora’s investors it has become apparent that they are concerned with their portfolio managers leaving the parent company; Aurora.
Aurora is the responsible entity, or ‘RE’ as they are known in the industry. The role of the RE is to look after investors and their interests.
Although in a peculiar structure, Aurora is their own RE, which means Aurora can effectively mark their own homework. Investors are concerned that this means the normal checks and balances placed on the fund manager are not correctly complied with.
Investors have also raised questions around conflicts of interest and doubting whether Aurora are in a position to provide both roles - especially after proposing a massive 1.85% exit fee on one Aurora’s fund.
Fortunately, the industry has noticed this troublesome series of events and the team at Wilson Asset Management (WAM) are working with unitholders to get them a better structure.
WAM are known as the leaders of listed fund managers in Australia, successful corporate activism and one of the best performing investment funds in the country.
Sitting amongst the masses of investors turning out for WAM’s shareholder presentations and their high levels of respect for the WAM team. Looking at the strong returns from WAM’s funds it rather obvious why Aurora’s investors are calling Geoff Wilson their ‘White Knight’.
I managed to interview Geoff Wilson about the steps WAM are taking to help Aurora’s shareholders, and you can listen to that interview here.
Aurora shareholders can:
- Attend the meetings called by WAM to place their votes; or
- Use the reply paid envelope to send through their proxy forms to the WAM team.
The meeting will be held at 2:30pm on 6 December 2016 at The Justice & Police Museum, Albert Street entry, Cnr Albert & Phillip Streets, Circular Quay Sydney NSW 2000.
Proxy forms are availed here (although best to use the forms posted to unitholders):
The Aurora Property Buy-Write Income Trust (AUP)
Hastings High Yield Fund (HHY)
Aurora Global Income Trust (AIB)
It should be noted that the portfolio managers within Aurora that are actually making the investment decisions within the funds are not involved with the corporate restructuring described above.
Christopher is head of equites at Spring Financial Group. Christopher has over 10 years' experience managing equities desks with thousands of retail clients and responsibility for maintaining and servicing retail and wholesale relationships.