The industry leaders that currently comprise our Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) are as follows.
Heath Behncke is the Founder and Managing Director of Holon Global Investments, a global equities manager focused on innovation and investor aligned wealth management. Over the last twenty years Heath has forged a strong career in investment management, developing a deep knowledge of equities’ markets and the financial services sector. Prior to establishing Holon, he was the co-founder of Sigma Funds Management.
Since 2016, Heath has focused on researching and investing in businesses taking advantage of global digital innovation, and the impacts on capital markets and wealth management. He established Holon to bring together a team of experienced investment and business professionals committed to growing the wealth of Australians through intelligent and responsible investing. Heath holds a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours (Finance and Investment) from the ANU. He is an Associate of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
Mary is Director of the ANU Investment Office at ANU, where she is responsible for the management of the University’s funds. Prior to being appointed to this position during 2016, Mary held a variety of senior investment positions both overseas and in Australia. These included: Principal of Kretzschmar Fallon Consulting (2015-2016); Chief Investment Officer at NGS Super (2013-2015); Chief Investment Officer and Investment Officer at Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme (2011-2013); Senior Fixed Interest Fund Manager at QBE Australia (2006-2010); Senior Portfolio Manager Fixed Income at Siemens Financial Services (2000-2006); Senior Portfolio Manager at Allianz Asset Management (1998-2000); and Portfolio Manager at Franken Invest Asset Management (1995-1997). Mary holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
André has had a distinguished career in both the public sector and industry spanning well over 40 years. He worked at the Commonwealth Treasury between 1971 and 1983, where he held varying roles from research officer to section head in areas dealing with international economic relations, domestic economic conditions, international capital raisings and Australian financial markets. Between 1984 and 1986 he was Minister (Financial) in the Australian Embassy in Paris, where he represented Australia at OECD.
In 1986, André joined Bankers Trust as Chief Economist, subsequently becoming Joint Head of the Proprietary Trading Desk in 1991, with the division returning a record profit of $26 million. He moved on to join BT Funds Management in 1992 as Head of the Australian Bond and Cash Group, which grew specialist bond and cash funds under management from $200 million in 1992 to over $5 billion by 1996, with the team being named best fixed interest/cash manager by Super Review in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He was appointed Chief Investment Officer of BT Funds Management in 1997, heading a team of over 80 investment professionals managing more than $40 billion across the world.
In 2001, André joined what is now known as Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which manages superannuation for Federal Government employees, where as Chief Investment Officer he built an investment team from scratch before retiring from full-time work in December 2006. He has since held a number of non-executive roles, including: ABN AMRO Investments Australia Limited/Royal Bank of Scotland Investments; Investment Committee of Catholic Superannuation Fund; Challenger LBC Terminals Jersey Limited; Macquarie Private Capital Management; Steam Packet Group International Holdings; GESB Mutual and the Investment Committee of GESB; and Chair of Australian Ethical Investments. André holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from Flinders University of South Australia and a Masters of Economics from the Australian National University.
ROSS BLAKERS/NICOLE MCMILLAN
Ross Blakers is a Strategic Advisor at Whitehelm Capital and sits on the firm’s Advisory Investment Committee (AIC). He assists clients and team members in asset consulting matters covering areas including investment strategy and manager selection. Nicole McMillan is a Senior Advisor in Whitehelm Capital’s Investment Solutions Group, and is responsible for currency analysis and management, as well as researching current trends in global financial markets. Nicole is an alternative member to Ross.
Paul Brunker is a Director of Optar Capital, a boutique Australian equity manager with a high-conviction, fundamental style; where he is also responsible for stock analysis and compliance management. Prior to co-founding Optar in 2015, Paul worked at JP Morgan Australia in various roles including Head of Research, Chief Strategist and Telecommunications analyst. Paul moved to Australia in 2001, before which he was with Robert Fleming Securities in London as Head of European Research and European Equity Strategist, and prior to that Scimitar Asset Management where he focused on European equities. Paul was an Honorary Fellow at the Macquarie University Applied Finance Centre, where he lectured in corporate finance during 2007–2009 and 2015–2017. He has a BA in Modern History and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc Economics from Birkbeck College in London.
DR ANNA VON REIBNITZ (COURSE CONVENOR)
Anna is a Senior Lecturer in Finance and the Finance Masters convenor within the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics. In addition to her role as SMF Course Convenor, Anna has taught Undergraduate, Masters and PhD courses in Financial Markets and Systems, Corporate Finance and Portfolio Construction. Anna has received multiple awards as an educator, including at the National level with a 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence. She also received the College of Business and Economics Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, an Australian National University Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2011, and the College of Business and Economics Award for Excellence in Tutoring in 2010. She is currently supervising students at both Masters and PhD levels. Anna’s research interests include funds management, corporate disclosure and market efficiency, and her work has been accepted into internationally recognised academic journals including the Critical Finance Review. She has received a number of grants such as the Accounting and Finance Association Research Grant and the ANU College of Business and Economics Research School Grant. Her industry experience includes working with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Treasury, Schroders and Continuity Capital Partners. Anna received her PhD in Finance in 2013 from the ANU, as well as Bachelor degrees in Economics and Commerce, graduating with First Class Honours in Finance and a University Medal.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR GEOFF WARREN (FUND CONVENOR, IAC CHAIR)
Geoff is a member of the academic staff at ANU, where one of his primary roles is Fund Convenor of the ANU Student Managed Fund. He was also a member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the ANU funds from 2010 to 2015, and then a member of the ANU Finance Committee until 2017 when he returned from leave after three years as Research Director at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). Prior to joining CIFR, Geoff taught Corporate Valuation and Applied Portfolio Construction at ANU, and was responsible for having developed the latter. He is an active researcher who focuses on investment-related areas with an applied emphasis, including: funds management, superannuation, portfolio construction, long-term investing, and the evaluation and taxation of investments. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Geoff spent over 20 years in investment markets, including as the Director of Capital Markets Research at Russell Investments; as an analyst, Chief Strategist and Head of Research with investment bank Ord Minnett / JPMorgan Australia; and as an equity portfolio management at AMP Capital. He currently sits on the Salvation Army Investment Advisory Board, the Brandes Institute Asia-Pacific Advisory Board, and the Atlas Infrastructure Macro Advisory Board. Geoff has a PhD from the AGSM, and a BComm (Hons) with the University Medal from UNSW.