Welcome to Acorn Capital
Where Next generation investing happens.
Acorn Capital believes emerging Australian companies provide investors with the ability access attractive financial returns and portfolio diversification, whilst delivering a positive economic benefit to the broader Australian economy.
The investment approach utilised at Acorn Capital seeks to identify the best emerging companies within an industry. These companies are the next generation of Australian corporate successes, typically associated with high levels of productivity and innovation, as well as providing new employment opportunities for Australians.
Acorn Capital distinguishes itself through its large research and investment team, with expertise across the majority of industries and the provision of expansion capital to developing companies.
Acorn Capital manages investment funds that provide access to listed and unlisted Emerging Companies.
The Acorn Capital investment philosophy is derived from its belief that there are pricing inefficiencies amongst Emerging Companies due to a lack of readily available external research conducted on such entities.
Acorn Capital believes through a research driven investment process the inefficiencies that exist in Emerging Companies can be exploited to achieve superior returns.
Acorn Capital was established in 1998 as a specialist investment manager in emerging Australian companies.
Acorn Capital distinguishes itself through its relatively large research and investment team with expertise across all industries as well as its provision of expansion capital to developing companies.
Through its strategies Acorn Capital can provide Investors with efficient off-index exposure to both public and private emerging companies.
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About Acorn Capital
Acorn Capital was established in 1998 as a specialist investment manager in emerging Australian companies.
Acorn Capital distinguishes itself through its relatively large research and investment team with expertise across all industries as well as its provision of expansion capital to developing companies.Through its strategies Acorn Capital can provide Investors with efficient off-index exposure to both public and private emerging companies.
Acorn Capital’s investment philosophy is to generate long-term outperformance through its distinctive research and investment capabilities and to identify attractive opportunities in less efficient markets. Acorn Capital targets the management of small to emerging company portfolios for clients in a way that:
- is founded on structured, fundamental investment research;
- makes full use of the business and financial markets experience of Acorn Capital’s Board and executive personnel; and
- is professionally and academically rigorous.
This philosophy applies to all Acorn Capital investment management products.
Acorn Capital believes that a company’s ability to sustain a long-term competitive advantage is related to its ability to innovate and adapt. Innovation may take many forms, including the development of unique intellectual property to a new business model. In our experience, smaller companies need to exhibit relatively higher levels of innovation in order to survive and thrive
Efficiency involves the process under which a business outcome is delivered with minimum economic cost, which encompasses both direct and indirect (including environmental and social) costs. Companies with the lowest economic cost in a given industry should be rewarded in the long term with a relatively lower cost of capital.
Acorn Capital believes that smaller companies make an outsized contribution to economic growth, particularly employment outcomes. High growth firms are not necessarily a type of firm rather a description for a stage of development in some company’s life cycle.
Acorn Capital believes that diversity can lead to better investment outcomes. In addition to avoiding a bias to any one particular industry, diversity is about behavioural bias. The ability to identify behavioural bias (eg gender, race, age) can lead to the identification of market inefficiencies within capital markets that can be exploited to generate outsized investment returns.
The acorn team
Robert Routley is Acorn Capital’s Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the Company, as well as product management responsibilities for private/unlisted investments undertaken by Acorn Capital. Rob joined Acorn Capital in 2007. Rob commenced his career with PwC and prior to joining Acorn Capital held investment management roles with Colonial First State Private Equity and Baron Corporation. Rob holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne.
James Douglas is an Investment Director with responsibility for the origination, execution and monitoring of Acorn Capital’s private investments. Following a 16 year investment banking career in Australia and the United States, including senior leadership roles at UBS, Merrill Lynch and Citibank, James founded Newmarket Capital, which focuses on investments in Australian hardware and physical technology companies. James is the Chairman of Carbon Revolution, a Geelong-based carbon fibre wheel manufacturer and Quickstep Holdings an ASX-listed aerospace advanced composite manufacturer. James holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne.
Paul Palumbo is a Portfolio Manager and Head of Portfolio Implementation with responsibility for the Healthcare and Biotechnology sectors, undertaking fundamental research of companies within those sectors and selecting stocks for inclusion in client portfolios, as well as portfolio dealing and construction in which he manages relations with market counterparties, transacts on clients’ behalf and conducts portfolio data analysis and construction. Paul joined Acorn Capital in 2007. Paul began his career at PwC and IBM Business Consulting. Paul holds a bachelor of Business Information Systems and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
Robert Bruce is Head of Research and Portfolio Manager for the Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples and Information Technology sectors, undertaking fundamental investment research on companies within those sectors and selecting stocks for inclusion in client portfolios. Rob joined Acorn Capital in June 2014 from CLSA where he spent 13 years in equity research. He also previously held research roles at UBS Warburg, Kaplan Funds Management and Westpac Institutional Bank.
Ben Dalling is a Portfolio Manager/Analyst with responsibility for the Industrials, Financials and Utilities sectors, undertaking fundamental investment research on companies within those sectors and selecting stocks for inclusion in client portfolios. Ben joined Acorn Capital in 2014. Prior to joining Acorn Capital Ben worked for 20 years as a sell side analyst, most recently with Citigroup where he was the Head of Small Cap research. Ben holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from LaTrobe University and a Master of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
Rick Squire is a Portfolio Manger with responsibility for the provision of research and selection of holdings in the Resources and Energy sectors, undertaking fundamental investment research on companies within those sectors and selecting stocks for the inclusion in client portfolios. Rick is a geologist with over 20 years of experience across the mining, exploration and research of mineral deposits, with the past 7 years in mining finance. Rick holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Monash University as well as a PhD from the University of Tasmania.
Karina Bader is the Analyst conducting the fundamental investment research on companies & selecting investments for client portfolios in the Resources and Energy sectors. Karina joined Acorn Capital in 2009. A geologist by training, Karina’s career began over 20 years ago as a project geologist with resources companies and consultants primarily in gold exploration. Karina holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Monash University and a Master of Business Administration (Tech Mgt) from Deakin University.
Matthew Sheehan is an Investment Director, responsible for the origination, assessment and ongoing management of private investments, with a particular focus on the structuring and documentation of unlisted investments. He is also the Legal Counsel and Company Secretary of both Acorn Capital and ACQ. Matt began his career as a private practise lawyer and worked at firms in Melbourne, New York and London. Prior to joining Acorn Capital in 2009, Matt worked at Macquarie Group as the General Counsel and Company Secretary of various listed and unlisted infrastructure funds. Matt holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Monash University, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Masters of Applied Finance from the University of Melbourne.
Brian Gan is an Analyst who assists the Portfolio Managers in the undertaking of fundamental investment research on companies within their sectors. Brian joined Acorn Capital in 2015 following the completion of his Masters of Finance from the University of Melbourne.
Xing Zhang is an Investment Specialist. Xing began her career in investment banking with Macquarie Capital in Hong Kong and later moved to London and New York. She has also worked at River Capital, where she was the Investment Analyst and responsible for reviewing a listed equities portfolio. Xing holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Graduate Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University.
Kate Doherty is responsible for the accounting, office and portfolio administration functions of the company. Kate’s accounting career began in Melbourne as a taxation consultant; she then spent six years overseas working firstly in the Trust industry at HSBC Private Bank in Guernsey and Butterfield Bank in the Cayman Islands. This was followed by UBS in the Cayman Islands where Kate worked as a hedge fund accountant and administrator.
Kate holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and is a qualified Chartered Accountant in Australia.
Board of Directors
Robert Officer (Chairman)
Bob Officer is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Melbourne and a specialist in financial economics. His career has spanned academia and consulting across private and public organizations. Current and former directorships include Victorian Funds Management Corporation, Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, Victorian WorkCover Authority, Over Fifty Group Limited, CP2 Limited, JF Capital Partners and the Bank of Melbourne.
Kirsty Dullahide is the General Manager – Commercial and Strategy within the Australian Unity Wealth & Capital Markets business. Kirsty has worked in the finance industry for more than 25 years, for business operations in Australia, the UK and Asia, for companies including MLC and National Australia Group. Kirsty has a Bachelor of Economics – Actuarial from Macquarie University in NSW.
Rob Brown is a Professor Emeritus of Finance University of Melbourne, where his research has focused on security market behaviour. He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and Master of Economics from the University of Sydney, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Victoria College and is a fellow of CPA Australia, a senior fellow of the Australasian Institute of Financial Services and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Research driven investment processs
Acorn Capital manages investment strategies that provide access to listed and unlisted Emerging Companies. The Acorn Capital investment philosophy is derived from its belief that there are pricing inefficiencies amongst Emerging Companies due to a lack of readily available external research conducted on such entities. Acorn Capital believes that through a research driven investment process the inefficiencies that exist in Emerging Companies can be exploited to earn superior returns.
Wholesale Investor funds
Acorn Capital NextGen Resources Fund
The NextGen Fund is a portfolio of companies that are exposed to growth commodities in the Resources & Energy sectors. These companies will also cover the full range of development stages and include both listed and unlisted (e.g. pre-IPO) opportunities.
Acorn Capital Micro Opportunities Fund
The MOF is a diversified microcap portfolio constructed from the full universe of ASX sectors, the full range of company development stages, and both listed and unlisted IPO opportunities.
Acorn Capital Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP)
The VCLP is an unconditionally registered Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership and is an eligible venture capital fund under the Significant Investor Visa programme. This investment option is currently closed to new investors.
RETAIL INVESTOR funds
ACORN CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND (ACQ)
Acorn Capital is the manager of ACQ, a Listed Investment Company the shares of which are traded on ASX. ACQ invests in both listed and unlisted Emerging Company securities and is modelled on Acorn Capital’s Emerging Growth Strategy.
Further information on this strategy can be found at www.ACQfund.com.au
Institutional Investor funds
Acorn Capital Emerging Growth Strategy (EGS)
Acorn Capital’s EGS provides an investor with exposure to a portfolio of listed and unlisted emerging companies that are at an expansion stage of development with an Australian nexus. Portfolios are constructed through a bottom-up stock selection process. The EGS can be provided through a segregated investment vehicle which can be modified to meet specific investment objectives.
News & insights
A perfect storm in iron-ore markets has catapulted Gina Reinhart and Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forest into the top two positions on the Australian Financial Review’s 2020 Rich List, but could their success force China to curtail the dominance of Australia’s biggest contributor to GDP? At Acorn we think it could, and what’s more we also think this seismic change is already under way. To listen to Rick Squire and Karina Bader’s thoughts on
Mark Rohald, CEO of Cluey Learning (Cluey), discusses how Cluey is designed