Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Hunter Hall International Limited (ASX:HHL) CEO, David Deverall
Carolyn Herbert: Hello I’m Carolyn Herbert for the Finance News Network and joining me from ethical investment manager Hunter Hall International Limited (ASX:HHL), to discuss its full year results for 2015 is CEO, David Deverall. David, welcome back.
David Deverall: Thanks Carolyn, it’s great to be here.
Carolyn Herbert: You’ve just reported your full year results for 2015. What were some of the highlights?
David Deverall: We’re very pleased with our results for 2015. After tax, profits were up 15 per cent, statutory earnings were up 88 per cent, we had a big increase in our dividend and so overall, we were very pleased with that outcome. It was struck on strong investment performance, a sharp improvement in our flows and also lower costs.
Carolyn Herbert: What are the total funds under management and how did it increase over the year?
David Deverall: Our total funds under management as at the 30th June 2015 was $1.118 billion, which was an increase of about 16 or 17 per cent over the year.
Carolyn Herbert: The rise of self-managed super continues to gain momentum. How is Hunter Hall placed in this segment of the market?
David Deverall: The growth of the DIY investor is a really important trend in financial markets. And at Hunter Hall, we’ve been doing a couple of things over the year to become even more relevant for them. Firstly, we launched a new Fund called The High Conviction Equities Trust, which is really aimed at that market. We launched it in December of last year. It delivered returns of nearly 60 per cent to the year ended 30th of June.
Secondly, we did a capital raising for our listed investment company called Hunter Hall Global Value Limited (ASX:HHV). And over the course of the year that company produced returns of around about 30 per cent. And on the back of that we were able to produce a special dividend of four cents per share, which was really good for DIY investors.
Carolyn Herbert: How are these newer Funds performing?
David Deverall: The Funds are performing really well right across the board. So we have our main Funds, the Value Growth Trust and our listed vehicle called HHV, produced returns of 30 per cent over the course of the year. New Fund, the High Conviction Equities Trust, had returns for seven months of approximately 60 per cent. So we were very pleased with our performance of our Funds over the year, and take into account also, we are an ethical fund manager. So I guess it says the old saying that you can do well and do good, at the same time.
Carolyn Herbert: How have the ethical Funds that you manage performed relative to their benchmarks?
David Deverall: Our ethical Funds beat their benchmarks hands down, right across our range. So we had everything from our Value Growth Trust, which beat its benchmark by at least six per cent. Similarly with the HHV, the listed vehicle that was up more than six per cent. We have the Australian Value Trust beat its benchmark by more than eight per cent, and the list goes on. So we’re very pleased with our performance. As an ethical manager we can deliver great returns, but also do good for the environment.
Carolyn Herbert: Taking a look at the general outlook for equities. How has the recent market volatility impacted on investor interest?
David Deverall: The recent equity market volatility is just a reminder how volatile equity markets are. We’ve been living through this period of time recently, where we’ve had very little volatility. And so the recent change has been more of a return to normal. For most of our clients, they’ve been fairly relaxed about that, obviously they’ll watch it if it continues. But from our point of view, we just focused on doing what we do best, which is picking stocks that look cheap no matter where they are in the world, because what we want to do is deliver great returns for our clients.
Carolyn Herbert: Finally David, what will the focus be for Hunter Hall in FY16?
David Deverall: The focus for Hunter Hall in FY16 is really no different to any other year, which is we’re really focused on delivering great investment returns, for the investors in our Funds. And we think that we’ve got a really good list of stocks in the Funds, such as Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX), St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM), M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU), LeoPalace21 Corporation (TYO:8848), Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), to name a few of many. And that’s what we’re really focused on for the year ahead; deliver great investment returns for our investors.
Carolyn Herbert: David Deverall, thank you for the update.
David Deverall: Thanks Carolyn.