Australian Unity’s sustainable cash and fixed interest manager Altius Asset Management to be acquired by Australian Ethical

23 May 2024

Tags: Media

Australian Unity’s Wealth & Capital Markets platform (W&CM) announced today it will sell its circa. $2 billion sustainable cash and fixed interest manager, Altius Asset Management (Altius) to Australian Ethical (ASX: AEF).

The transaction is part of an ongoing commitment by Australian Ethical and Australian Unity to work together to explore additional joint investment and product development opportunities.

Under the terms of the deal, Altius will form part of Australian Ethical’s expanded fixed income capability and will continue to oversee Australian Unity’s cash and fixed interest portfolios, as well as the other fixed income funds and mandates currently managed by Altius.

As part of Australian Ethical, Altius and its investors will benefit from increased scale and focus. The transaction positions both businesses to pursue their next stage of growth—critical to maximizing impact and serving investors well.

Australian Unity Group Chief Investment Officer and Executive General Manager-Funds Management, Dr Joe Fernandes said the transaction is an endorsement of the sustainable investment approach Altius and Australian Unity have built and refined for more than a decade, achieving continuity, additional scale and focus for the Altius business and its investors.

“The transaction with Australian Ethical aligns with Australian Unity’s strategy of focusing its commercial portfolio and partnering with like-minded organisations to maximise our combined long-term impact. This includes simplifying our funds management business in line with our core focus areas including our $5.5 billion businesses in Australian equities, our $3.6 billion Healthcare Property Trust and other social infrastructure investment products.

“Australian Ethical was a cornerstone investor in Australian Unity’s Specialist Disability Accommodation Fund when it launched in 2020 and we are looking forward to further expanding the work we can do together to allocate capital for positive social impact, Dr Fernandes said.

Altius’s co-founder and Chief Investment Officer, Bill Bovingdon said, “We’re excited by the opportunity to join Australian Ethical, operating as part of a market leading investment platform and combining Australian Ethical’s ethical investing heritage across many asset classes with Altius’ deep expertise in responsible fixed income management.

“Funding for the energy transition and other mitigation, adaptation and resilience initiatives across the country will rely heavily on green bonds and other sustainable debt instruments and we see this as an important opportunity for Altius to build on existing capability and be ready to play a significant role in the coming decades.”

Australian Ethical Chief Executive Officer, John McMurdo said, “The acquisition is another important milestone for Australian Ethical as we scale and broaden our investment capability consistent with our strategy and Ethical Charter. Transactions such as this add to our momentum as a purpose-driven business and our ability to deliver sound investment returns while influencing progress towards a better future for people, animals, and planet.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Altius team, their clients, and Australian Unity as a key institutional client partner. They join 130,000 investors and superannuation customers who have also chosen to invest ethically.”

Australian Ethical CIO, Ludovic Theau added, “This acquisition also reflects our commitment to continue to work with like-minded organisation Australian Unity. We look forward to this being the first of many new investment initiatives, where Australian Ethical and Australian Unity can combine their leadership capabilities in ethical investment management and social impact.”

To support the handover, Australian Unity will provide Australian Ethical with transitional services following completion. Australian Unity Funds Management Limited will retire as responsible entity of the Australian Unity Wholesale Cash Fund, the Altius Sustainable Short Term Income Fund, the Altius Green Bond Fund and the Altius Sustainable Bond Fund and will be replaced by an Australian Ethical entity (subject to court and unitholder approvals).

Completion of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of conditions precedent, including obtaining relevant Altius unitholder approvals where necessary for the retirement and replacement of responsible entities.

Australian Ethical will pay Australian Unity $4.25 million in cash upon transaction completion, which will be subject to the satisfaction of Conditions Precedent (expected to occur in July 2024), with an additional $1.25 million payable after completion.


Media contact: Penny Bold
T: 0400 567 937

About Altius Asset Management
Altius are specialists in sustainable cash and fixed interest investments, and actively manage diverse portfolios of Australian and New Zealand cash and fixed interest securities, aiming to deliver regular income coupled with low capital volatility.
Established as a joint venture with Australian Unity in 2011, Altius was acquired in full by Australian Unity in 2017.
Altius pioneered sustainable fixed interest investment in Australia, launching its sustainable bond fund in 2014. In 2020, Altius launched Australia’s first green bond fund with cornerstone investments from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Crestone Wealth Management. This was followed by publishing an inaugural impact report bringing best practice ESG reporting benchmarks to Australia in 2022.

About Australian Ethical
Established in 1840, Australian Unity is a member-owned wellbeing company with more than 385,000 members and more than 700,000 customers. Our range of health, wealth and care products and services provides member, customer and community value that is supportive of personal and community wellbeing. Australian Ethical is amongst Australia's leading ethical investment managers. Since 1986, Australian Ethical has provided investors with investment management products that align with their values and provide long term, risk adjusted returns. Investments are guided by the Australian Ethical Charter which shapes its ethical approach and underpins both its culture and its vision. Australian Ethical has over $10 billion in funds under management across managed funds and superannuation. Visit:

About Australian Unity
Established in 1840, Australian Unity is a member-owned wellbeing company with more than 385,000 members and more than 700,000 customers. Our range of health, wealth and care products and services provides member, customer and community value that is supportive of personal and community wellbeing.

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