About Us

Our Story

Blackwattle Investment Partners strives to create a better investment management model, providing investors with greater alignment, transparency, and access.

In 2023 Blackwattle brought together outstanding individuals with expertise across Investment, Distribution and Marketing, and Governance.

Together under one brand, we seek to provide Australian investors with access to the most aligned investment management business in Australia. At Blackwattle 100% of our staff own equity, as we truly believe that ownership drives collective success. No matter seniority or experience, equity ownership is in our DNA.

We are all partners together. Alignment is at our heart.

Built on the foundation of alignment, Blackwattle has focused on 3 key areas for success:

  1. Investment Excellence
  2. Transparency
  3. Governance
Alignment

Blackwattle strives to be Australia’s most aligned investment management business.

We truly believe that alignment is the foundation of improved returns for our clients, and ultimately for the delivery of better outcomes for all.

We will always invest our own personal capital (and corporate capital) alongside our clients. There is also zero personal trading outside of our Blackwattle portfolios. We believe this is the only way a funds management business should operate.

At Blackwattle we are proud of the following:

Partnership

We truly are a partnership.
100% of our staff own equity.

Investment

Zero personal trading (PA) is allowed. We are 100% invested in our portfolios. We have all committed significant personal capital.

Re-Investment

Our corporate profits are reinvested into our portfolios. Our personal salaries are reinvested into our portfolios.

Profit Share

Our Portfolio Managers are aligned with our clients (and their investment results) via clearly defined profit share mechanisms.

Transparency

Timely and transparent communication with our investors. Providing regular access to our investment teams.

Investment Excellence

Blackwattle has partnered with some of the best investment professionals in Australia.

Specifically, teams and individuals with top tier performance, that are willing to invest significant personal capital alongside our clients.

The investment personnel have in aggregate over 135 years of investment experience. An average of 19.5 years per person.

Our teams have delivered investment outperformance over nearly all time periods, and across market cycles.

In most cases they are ranked top quartile or decile in their given equity class.

Each investment team member has committed significant personal capital into the Blackwattle portfolios. We believe this factor is vital for the focus and success of any investment manager.

In aggregate, the Blackwattle investment teams have committed to invest over $7.5m in personal investment in our portfolios.

Furthermore, our investment personnel have committed a very significant portion of their future salaries (both base and LTI) each year to the Blackwattle portfolios.

Transparency

Blackwattle is committed to open and transparent communication.

Spearheaded by our Client Team, Blackwattle actively engages with our investing community.

Our Client Team is equity aligned and personally invested in our portfolios. We believe that if we are to be truly aligned with our clients, then personal investment and ownership is key.

We recognise that our portfolio teams will make mistakes. But rather than hide from these mistakes, we will openly provide context to the error and moreover provide insight to how we have collectively learnt from our misstep.

We enjoy engagement with our investors, and welcome you to our future events and also to our office. Please stay engaged via our subscription link and on LinkedIn.

Governance

Blackwattle believes that empowering small highly experienced teams (primarily 3-6 persons), results in more efficient, accurate and higher quality decision-making.

We do not see value in corporate bureaucracy, or business environments where primary investment decision makers are far removed from the investment ‘coal face’.

Our highly experienced teams are empowered to make decisions. And as long as they are well informed, they can make them decisively and fast.

We similarly believe that good business practice requires experienced governance oversight and perspective. Blackwattle has an experienced and diverse board that is majority independent.

Extending our governance focus, Blackwattle has installed two external governing councils to help shape our business and push our portfolio teams to be better.

The two external governing councils at Blackwattle are:

  1. ESG Advisory Council
  2. Investment Advisory Council

The Blackwattle ESG Advisory Council provides oversight of the company and its portfolios, helping to ensure our investments, perspectives and thinking align with our own values and policies.

The Blackwattle Investment Advisory Council aims to provide guidance, perspective, and critical thought to enhance investment decision making, and improve portfolio investment performance. The Council pushes our investment teams to be better.

Blackwattle Team

Board

John Churchill
Chairman

John is a Businessman and Lawyer with over 40 years’ experience. John has been a Partner, Managing Partner (Dunhill Madden Butler) and Chairman (PWC Legal), as well as council for numerous Australian and International law firms.

He is a Chairman and Director of ASX listed entities across a range of industries and is a Fellow of the American College of Law Practice Management.

He holds a Master of International Trade and Business Law from the Sydney University Law School.

Michael Skinner
Managing Director,
Chief Investment Officer and Partner

Michael Skinner has 20 years of engineering and investment experience. Michael was previously responsible for over $1.7bn of investment across a range of Australian equity strategies.

He also lends his time to the University of NSW and the University of Adelaide as a senior academic, and serves on a number of boards across the sectors of sport, charity, community and education.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Graduate Diploma of Law, Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Law.

Matthew Dell
Executive Director

Matthew Dell has spent 32 years in the financial services industry. Most recently Matt was Director, Distribution at Pinnacle Investment Management.

Prior to that he was the Head of Distribution at RARE Infrastructure (now Clearbridge), and he has worked at Fidelity Australia.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning. He is a past Fellow of CPA Australia, is a current Fellow of FINSIA, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Nerida Hall
Non-Executive Director

Nerida Hall has over 30 years of funds management and investment experience. Nerida has intimate knowledge of the processes and procedures required through all aspects of a funds management company.

Recently, Nerida was employed at Aware Super where she helped integrate ESG processes before overseeing equity research capabilities and implementing the strategic equity program.

Nerida is currently serving on investment committees, including a University and an impact investing group.

Nerida holds a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Finance and Quantitative studies)

Matthew Lawrance
Non-Executive Director

Matthew Lawrance has over 35 years of corporate experience and has occupied senior executive positions in listed companies including Qantas, Woolworths & National Australia Bank.

Matthew has spent the last 18 years in financial services, mainly at NAB in senior roles across both Banking and Wealth Management, including Executive General Manager NAB Wealth – Products, Platforms and CEO, MLC Super.

More recently Matthew founded CREDAS Solutions in 2019.

Matthew holds a Master of Business Administration (AGSM), Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a Bachelor of Commerce.


Blackwattle Team

Executive & Leadership Team

Michael Skinner
Managing Director,
Chief Investment Officer and Partner

Michael Skinner has 20 years of engineering and investment experience. Michael was previously responsible for over $1.7bn of investment across a range of Australian equity strategies.

He also lends his time to the University of NSW and the University of Adelaide as a senior academic, and serves on a number of boards across the sectors of sport, charity, community and education.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Graduate Diploma of Law, Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Law.

Jarred Rubin
Chief Executive Officer and Partner

Jarred Rubin has over 20 years of finance and investment experience, working across institutional sell side equities, corporate and investment advisory.

Most recently, Jarred was a Director at Citigroup in Institutional Equity Sales, which he joined in 2017. Prior to this, Jarred worked in Institutional Equities Sales and Trading roles at Macquarie Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

He has been elected to the Board of Management at Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home since 2018.

Jarred holds a Bachelor Commerce, majoring in Finance and Information Systems from UNSW and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Matthew Dell
Executive Director

Matthew Dell has spent 32 years in the financial services industry. Most recently Matt was Director, Distribution at Pinnacle Investment Management.

Prior to that he was the Head of Distribution at RARE Infrastructure (now Clearbridge), and he has worked at Fidelity Australia.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning. He is a past Fellow of CPA Australia, is a current Fellow of FINSIA, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Maggie Mills
Head of Distribution and Partner

Maggie has worked in financial services for over 24 years. Prior to joining Blackwattle Investment Partners, Maggie has held roles at Zurich, Skandia and ING.

Maggie was most recently the Head of Investment Sales at Zurich Financial Services Australia, where she had been working for over 17 years.

As Head of Distribution at Blackwattle, Maggie is responsible for executing the sales strategy to grow the Blackwattle business and create valued partnerships with our clients.
Maggie has completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Macquarie University.

Nick O'Hare
Senior Account Director

Nick has over 10 years of financial services experience, working across financial planning, financial platform, and fund management roles.

Recently Nick was Vice President, Regional Manager at Clearbridge Investments managing Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania distribution. Nick worked closely with retail and wholesale advisers, family officers, brokers, asset consultants and research houses.

Nick has a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing an advanced diploma in Financial Planning along with an accredited derivatives adviser level 1 certification. Nick has also maintained his financial planning accreditations completing the FASEA exam and the professional ethics course.

Cherish Beardmore
Operations and Client Specialist

Cherish has over 20 years operations and administration experience most recently at Watermark Funds Management where she was responsible for operations and investor communications.

Prior to joining Blackwattle Cherish has worked within investment banking, corporate advisory, and management consulting.


Blackwattle Team

Investment Team

Robert Hawkesford
Portfolio Manager and Partner

Rob has over 20 years’ financial markets experience, most recently spending 15 years with Ellerston Capital. He was also a member of Ellerston’s Broker Review and ESG committees.

Rob began focusing on small cap research in 2013, eventually joining the small cap team full time in 2015 (managing up to $1.2bn of FUM).

Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management.

Rob is the Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Small Cap Quality Fund and Blackwattle Small Cap Long-Short Quality Fund.

Daniel Broeren
Portfolio Manager and Partner

Daniel has over 20 years’ of financial markets experience, most recently as Portfolio Manager at Watermark Funds Management.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Business Administration, and a Master of Professional Accounting (Finance). Daniel is also a Responsible Manager (RM).

Dan is the Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Small Cap Quality Fund and Blackwattle Small Cap Long-Short Quality Fund.

Tim Riordan
Portfolio Manager and Partner

Tim Riordan has 25 years’ funds management and accounting experience.

Most recently, Tim was the Head of Direct Equities at Aware Super. Tim was responsible for managing the 11 strong equities team as well as 4 portfolios, with combined FUM of $3.5bn.

Tim’s primary portfolio responsibility was the $2bn ASX mid cap industrials fund which he ran with Michael Teran.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), earned the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Tim is the Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Mid Cap Quality Fund.

Michael Teran
Deputy Portfolio Manager and Partner

Michael is a former Engineer with 12 years’ funds management experience.

He was the Associate Portfolio Manager of the Aware Super Mid-Cap Industrial Fund since 2020 with Tim Riordan, he joined Aware Super in 2019.

Michael was previously a Long-Short Equities Analyst at Point72 Asset Management. He was also an Equities Analyst at Colonial First State (now First Sentier Investors) for 7 years, to focus on Core fundamental portfolios for the ASX200.Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce both from UNSW. Michael is a CFA Charter Holder.

Michael is the Deputy-Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Mid Cap Quality Fund.

Joseph Koh
Portfolio Manager and Partner

Joseph Koh has over 25 years’ experience in investment and finance, beginning in 1997 at Bankers Trust and 8 years at Regal Funds Management.

Recently, Joseph was co-portfolio manager of a high performing long-short fund at Schroder Investment Management.

Joseph holds a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Accounting and Finance) and is a CFA charterholder.

Joseph is the Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Long Short 130/30 Quality Fund and the Blackwattle Large Cap Quality Fund.

Ray David
Portfolio Manager and Partner

Ray David has over 20 years’ of investing and finance experience.

Prior to joining BlackWattle Investment Partners, Ray David was portfolio manager at Schroders Australia, where he spent over 10 years and was co-portfolio manager of the Schroder Australian Equity Long Short Fund.

Prior to joining Schroders, Ray David was an Investment Director of the Emerging Companies Team at UBS Investment Bank Australia.

Ray holds a Bachelor of Economics and Econometrics from the Sydney University, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance, Banking, Corporate Finance and Securities Law.

Ray is the Portfolio Manager of the Blackwattle Long Short 130/30 Quality Fund and the Blackwattle Large Cap Quality Fund.

Peter Wilson
Senior Investment Analyst

Peter Wilson has over 17 years’ experience investment experience.

Prior to joining Blackwattle Peter spent 10 years as Director at Credit Suisse Equity Research Australia and Head of Utilities, Building materials and Steel. He also held the position as Senior Commercial Advisor, AGL Energy for 2 years and was also Portfolio Manager, Global Income Trust, Aurora Funds Management for 3 years.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics), a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Andy Chuk
Senior Investment Analyst

Andy has over 11 years’ investment experience most recently joining from Watermark Funds Management as the Financials and REITS analyst and also extensive sell side investment experience at Macquarie.

Andy holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Accounting and is a CFA charterholder.

Andy is the Senior Analyst of the Blackwattle Small Cap Quality Fund and Blackwattle Small Cap Long-Short Quality Fund.


Blackwattle Team

ESG Review Council

Chris Newton
Chairperson

Chris is a leader in Responsible Investment and ESG. He is a Non-Executive Director of Traditional Owner group Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Westernport Water, and an advisory member of the McKell Institute. He was previously the Global Head Responsible Investment at IFM investors.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, MBA, a G.Dip Applied Finance, and a Post Grad International Development.

Kara Nicholls
Council Member

Kara is the Chair ICMEC Australia, a Director of Ripple Learning Limited, Zoom2u Technologies Limited, and a member of the Audit & Risk committee of the AMA (NSW). She is the Founder and Managing Director of Impact Governance.

She holds a Bachelor of Business, and a MLS.

Warren Brandt
Council Member

Warren is a Director of Yellow Canary. His specialty is across general advice and investment, private equity, venture capital, and M&A. Previously he was a Director of SPC Global, and a Lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills.

He holds a LLB, Bachelor of Arts, and a G.Dep Legal Practice.

Frances Cranston
Council Member

Frances has 25+ yrs banking and risk experience. She was previously Chief Operating Officer and Line One Risk, and Head of Equity Market and Operational Risk at Citi Bank.

She holds a G.Dip in Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce.

Giles Gunesekera OAM
Council Member

Giles is the Founder and CEO of the Global Impact Initiative, an organisation focused on Impact Investing. He is a Director on a range of Listed and Not for Profits Boards and serves on Advisory Boards for the United Nations for Climate and Health and Sustainable Finance.

Giles holds an Advanced Management and Leadership (Oxford), Masters of Applied Finance and Investment and Bachelor of Commerce. Giles was awarded an Order of Australia in January 2023 for his contribution to social welfare and community service.

Kate Webster
Council Member

Kate has 17 years experience working in banking and finance. She has worked in both debt and unlisted equity, extensively in infrastructure, utilities and energy. Kate more recently worked for a large super fund for 5 years in ESG including leading the funds approach to climate change. Kate is currently working for a social impact lender.

She holds a Bachelor of Science, an MBA and a Masters of Sustainability.


Blackwattle Team

Investment Review Council

Peter Shear
Council Member

Peter Shear is a Founder of Archibald Capital and CFO of Firmus. Peter has been the Chief Risk Officer at Lloyds Banking and a Partner at EY.

He holds an MBA, a GDip in Finance, and a Bachelor of Business.

Hal Lloyd
Council Member

Hal Lloyd is the Chief Operating Officer of HPX Group, and a Partner of Hamilton Locke. Previously, Hal was a Partners at both K&L Gates and Baker & McKenzie.

He holds a LLM Law, a Bachelor Psychology and a LLB Law.

Angela Rowland
Council Member

Angela has 20+ years consulting experience and is currently an Independent Consultant. She was previously Head of Group Strategy Xero, Group Executive Strategy at Virgin Australia and a Partner at L.E.K consulting.

She holds a bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McGill, Canada and an MBA from Instead.

Graeme Bibby
Council Member

Graeme is currently the CIO of Partners Wealth Group, and an Executive Director at Wingate. Previously, Graeme was the CIO of Mutual Trust and AIA.

He Holds a Bachelor Chemistry, Bachelor Engineering, MBA and a G.Dip Applied Finance.

Marcus Zeltzer
Council Member

Marcus is the Co-Founder Yellow Canary and Data Scouts. He has extensive experience within the business and fintech industries.

He holds a Bachelor Computer Science.

Leanne Milton
Council Member

Leanne was most recently the Head of Investment Research at AMP. She was previously Director and Head of the Standard & Poor’s Funds Research and Consulting business in Australia and Head of Distribution at Allianz Global Investors (Australia).

She holds a Dip FP from Deakin University, Grad Cert. Applied Finance and is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).


Our Approach

Our investment style is Quality

We believe that investors are often distracted by market noise, short-term trends, and the movement of crowds (or momentum).

We will never be distracted by these factors.

Rather – “We buy good and great businesses at the right price”. We believe that a focus on business quality and strength is the best method to deliver sustained, long-term, investment outperformance.

We aim to buy good and great businesses at the right price

There is quality in every sector

We believe there are good and great businesses in every sector and industry (well almost every). We deploy capital into businesses that have a forward advantage within their industry or sector of influence. As an example, this may be:

  • A technology company with a unique, defensive, product.
  • A mining service company with a technology or process advantage.
  • A retail company with expanding brand loyalty.

Finally, we will always push ourselves to be better investors and stewards of capital. At Blackwattle we critically analyse our decision making with both internal and external reviews of our portfolios.

We critique success and failure, both past and present.

We buy businesses with a forward advantage, trustworthy aligned management, below intrinsic value.