Client case study: Federation University
"When COVID-19 hit there was a lot of uncertainty about what this would mean for our portfolio and thankfully U Ethical was quick to reach out and reassure us that we would be kept in the loop every step of the way," Chief Financial Officer, Richard Harris at Federation University.
4 October 2021.
Federation University Australia was formed in 2014 when the former University of Ballarat and the Gippsland Campus of Monash University were amalgamated. Together their history dates back to 1870, spanning 150 years. Today, Federation University, and its campuses in Ballarat, Berwick, Brisbane, Gippsland and the Wimmera, are guided by the desire to transform lives and enhance communities. This vision informs everything the university does – including how it invests.
Noting these values and their alignment with U Ethical’s approach, Director of distribution, David Brennan met with the university’s Director of Finance and Deputy CFO, Richard Harris. U Ethical was a suitable choice for Federation University to fulfil their investment requirements based on its available fixed income investment options and robust ethical investment policy. At the conclusion of a tender process, U Ethical on boarded the university as a client in September 2019 for its short-term investment asset pool.
David notes that the team worked closely with Federation University from proposal to implementation to map their investment requirements including time horizon, risk appetite and short-term investment impact objectives. Members of the investment team were also on hand to provide specialist insight.
“At this point in time the university as a consolidated entity was five years young and looking to generate income and preserve capital, while maintaining a high level of liquidity. The Enhanced Income Trust - Wholesale* was the ideal fit to begin with, with the aim to potentially move into equities further down the track,” David commented.
Since joining U Ethical, Federation University is pleased with the returns generated and the superior level of service provided.
Richard notes that while it is positive that the university has been able to meet its fixed-income financial imperatives, the real stand-out has been the level of service provided by U Ethical – especially apparent during the volatile period of the last 12-18 months.
“When COVID-19 hit there was a lot of uncertainty about what this would mean for our portfolio and thankfully U Ethical was quick to reach out and reassure us that we would be kept in the loop every step of the way.”
“I think it was at this time I realised just how beneficial it is to invest with a boutique – you feel valued as a client and in a real partnership rather than being just another account. We’ve formed meaningful relationships with the U Ethical team and they make the time to provide us with relevant information over and above servicing our account.
“From an ethical investment stance, it’s a great story to share with students that we walk the talk of our values. Students in 2021 want to see positive impact not only from the companies they buy from or where they work, but their place of study – even more apparent in the face of the escalating climate crisis.
“I’m pleased that we can share a message that we’re investing in their futures; vocationally and environmentally,” Richard said.
U Ethical looks forward to continuing to add value in their relationship with Federation University both through generating financial returns and equipping them with expert knowledge of and insight into the ever growing ethical investment market.
*Prior to 1 July 2020 this product was called the Enhanced Cash Portfolio. On 1 July 2020, the U Ethical Enhanced Cash Portfolio was transitioned to the U Ethical Enhanced Cash Trust - Wholesale. On May 19 2021, the name of the Trust was changed to the U Ethical Enhanced Income Trust - Wholesale.
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