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Boutique Investment Firm Breaks the Rules in Gold Medal Contest Against Industry Goliath

A flat-out refusal to play by the same rules has seen a fresh-faced boutique investment management firm go up against industry heavyweight Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia as one of just four finalists in the nation’s IMAP Managed Fund Awards 2021.

The young team of six acquired the investment engine of multi-family office Keystone Private and launched Alvia Asset Partners just 18 months ago, and since then has swum against the tide when it comes to the types of returns it generates for its family-owned business clients.

“Most players in our industry measure success in terms of the relative returns they generate for clients, when the truth is you can’t eat relative returns,” explained Chief Investment Officer Joshua Derrington.

“Our strategy has always been to focus on generating absolute returns for our clients, regardless of market fluctuations, and to re-educate clients on how to better approach the issue of risk when it comes to managing wealth.

“We’ve found that the problem for most portfolios is that many people – driven in large part by FOMO – are overly concerned by daily, monthly, yearly market movements. We’re not, since we know that the largest potential erosion of wealth is caused by human intervention at the wrong time.

“We’re unapologetic about our refusal to play that game, or listen to a majority of the noise that distracts so many in our industry who are forced, due to internal metrics and KPIs, to react. We’re different. Those internal metrics don’t matter to us,” he said.

Derrington acknowledged the team was “super proud” to be an IMAP Award finalist for best Licensee Managed Account, since it proved that their philosophy – while not universally embraced by the large institutional players – was being recognised for the results it was generating for clients.

The highly coveted IMAP Managed Fund Awards 2021 are run by the Institute of Managed Account Professionals to recognise excellent practice among advice firms and investment providers across Australia.

Adjudicated by a group of independent researchers and specialists, the winners were announced in August.

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