BlackRock has announced the launch of a new Australian Unit Trust which will invest into its core, multi-strategy hedge fund portfolio, the BlackRock Appreciation Strategy Ltd (BASLTD). The new feeder fund, BlackRock Appreciation Strategy Fund (Aust), is run by BlackRock Alternative Advisors (BAA), BlackRock’s hedge fund solutions business.

BAA has a long-standing presence in the Australian marketplace and has a number of bespoke relationships with large Australian clients, however, for the first time the core strategy will now be made available to wholesale clients via an Australian Unit Trust.

The decision to launch the Australian Unit Trust was made by BlackRock to provide Australian investors with access to its core hedge fund strategy and was also borne out of discussions between BlackRock and Lipman Burgon & Partners, a sophisticated ultra-high net worth advisory firm with over $1 billion in assets managed on behalf of individuals and families, associations, charitable trusts and foundations.

“The team at Lipman Burgon was seeking to create a high quality, diversified portfolio for their clients which would aim to deliver net returns commensurate with the long run return on public equities with half the volatility of and low beta to the public equity markets” said Jason Collins, Head of the Australian Client Business at BlackRock. “This objective aligned very closely with the BAA investment approach and philosophy, so it made sense for us to work with them to create a vehicle to enable their clients to access our core strategy.” 

Alex Pikoulas, Chief Investment Officer at Lipman Burgon & Partners said “The BlackRock Appreciation Strategy Fund gives our clients access to a diversified portfolio of the world’s leading hedge funds that are otherwise inaccessible. The strategy also benefits from attractive pricing driven by BlackRock’s scale, the strength of the BAA global investment team, and BlackRock’s risk management capabilities.  After looking at all options it became clear that asking BlackRock to bring the Appreciation Strategy to Australia was a standout solution.” 

While Lipman Burgon was the catalyst for the launch of the Australian Unit Trust, the feeder fund will be available to wholesale clients only for investment on the Netwealth and Macquarie Wrap platforms in early 2020, and BlackRock is already seeing demand from other sophisticated advisory firms seeking a similar solution for their clients.

“We are seeing more and more clients looking for truly diversified sources of return that have the ability to provide downside protection in market downturns. The team at BAA has a long track record of delivering investment performance, so we expect to see widespread demand for this fund offering” said Collins.

About BlackRock

BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, our clients turn to us for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of September 30, 2019, the firm managed approximately US$6.96 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide.