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Prime Value Asset Management has evolved from a family office to a multi-disciplined fund manager, as part of a group including Shakespeare Property, managing more than $3 billion in funds.
Prime Value Asset Management has experienced many changes over its 25 years, but several themes have been constant: a commitment to stewardship, aligned interests with investors, and a commitment to independence.
Yak Yong Quek, CEO of Prime Value Asset Management, was there from the beginning in 1998, and says the manager’s family office background is pivotal to the story. “It was a brave step to open our doors to other investors, but we were confident in our abilities to generate good returns while protecting capital, and we feel privileged to have been building wealth together with our investors for 25 years.”
Quek said starting as a family office was an advantage. “Many fund managers start out by chasing large institutional investors before going to retail investors. But the family office meant we had the freedom to take our time, pursue strategies we really believe in, and only target opportunities where we can add value.”
Part of this is a focus on capital protection, critical for consistent returns, according to Quek. “The first rule of investing is to protect capital, because it’s the springboard for future returns.
“We still invest to outperform and to deliver great returns, but we do it in a context of capital protection. And the best way to protect capital is to choose quality investments, and avoid unnecessary risks along the way.
“It’s important to have this focus and stability so there is no temptation to chase the short-term.”
Placing a high importance on stewardship will continue to define the manager as it prepares for the next 25 years, according to Quek. “It’s important to be humble when managing money. We know that wealth can easily be destroyed through emotions such as greed or arrogance, by taking unnecessary risks.
“Hence we take our responsibilities as stewards of investor capital very seriously.”
Alignment of interest has also characterised Prime Value over the journey, with the investment managers and executives also investors in the funds. “We’re passionate about the fact we are in it together with our investors, and building wealth together. We have a shared purpose, which is powerful.
“The beauty of being a fully independent boutique fund manager is we can be more closely aligned with our investors.”
Independent boutiques such as Prime Value are critical to a healthy financial services ecosystem, according to Quek. “Boutiques provide important product diversity for Australian financial services, through niche and specialist investment opportunities, which are difficult for the major institutions to replicate.
“We are able to play to our strengths and develop investment product which is not vanilla, to pursue strategies we really have a high conviction in.”
An evolution in funds
After commencing with a single Australian equities fund in 1998, Prime Value has grown into a multi-disciplined manager. Funds include several Australian equities strategies, direct property, income securities, and alternative assets including dairy farms and retirement living villages.
Equities is where Prime Value first made its name, and the small cap Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund is in elite company for consistent performance: it finished in the top quartile of funds for three out of the last four years of the Mercer small caps survey for performance over three years – a rare feat for small cap funds.
The Fund’s consistency was no doubt pivotal to Prime Value being awarded winner of the Australian Equities – Small Cap Award at the Zenith Fund Awards in 2022, and named finalist in the same category at the Zenith Fund Awards in 2023.
The Fund’s managers have previously also been recognised as Star Managers for the Emerging Opportunities Fund by SQM Research and Financial Newswire, which evaluated three-year track records across 500-600 funds with a minimum fund size of $30 million.
Property funds have been another staple, available to investors via Prime Value’s sister company, Shakespeare Property Group, which launched its first syndicate in 2002 and has since delivered consistently strong returns across several different property assets.
Nearly ten years ago Prime Value introduced a low risk income strategy, the Prime Value Enhanced Income Fund, which aims to provide capital stability with regular quarterly income. This was followed a few years later by the Prime Value Diversified High Income Fund, which has been providing consistent income returns since inception.
Most recently, Prime Value has introduced several strategies in Alternative Assets, which have become more important for investors looking to diversify into niche asset classes, complementing their holdings in equities, property and income. Prime Value’s alternative investments include dairy farms, including some of the best dairy producing country in Australia, located in north-west Tasmania and south-west Victoria.
Other alternative strategies include citrus, growth infrastructure, private equity, and retirement living.
As for the future, Quek says Prime Value continues to explore investment opportunities but will only open new funds when the time is right. “Investment markets are always creating new opportunities and this is an exciting part of being involved in funds management.
“We will continue to keep an eye out for strategies which can benefit investors and which align with our focus on quality, capital preservation, and performance”, Quek concluded.
For more information on any of Prime Value Asset Management’s Investment Funds please contact our Client Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and 61 3 9098 8088
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