History

Evergreen Consultants was established in early 2016 by Angela Ashton and Brett Baker.

Both have had over 20 years experience in investment consulting and funds management.

In setting up Evergreen, Angela saw a growing need for independent investment consulting services, free from conflict and particularly catering for the needs of smaller institutions and independent financial advisers. She approached Brett to help build the business with her.

Evergreen has always been a small business with a big business mind-set. We deliberately set out to create a company that took the best features of our larger peers, while maintaining the advantages of a smaller group.

During 2016, a robust corporate governance framework was developed. This included receiving our own AFSL (Angela is the Responsible Manager) and appointing an independent Board of Directors. The Board meets every 6 weeks.

We began conducting our own internal manager meetings and analysis almost immediately. We now conduct over 250 meetings a year with a variety of fund managers. We provide reports on each meeting to clients.

The Evergreen Asset Allocation Committee was formed during the second half of 2016. It meets monthly and includes two independent members, Stephen Duschene and Dr Kingsley Jones. We provide our clients with access to that meeting, as well providing as a host of published outputs.

Building of our own internal portfolio analytics system, GreenVUE, began in August 2016 and continues today. GreenVUE provides us and our clients with analytics, such as attribution and stress testing, that are otherwise only available in highly priced institutional systems.

Evergreen branded portfolios were included on Macquarie Wrap in March 2017 and on HUB24 in October 2017.

Since then, we’ve grown our business and now boast some of the best financial planning businesses and institutions in the country as clients.

Over the journey, we’ve steadily grown our staff numbers. We’ve attracted and retained highly experienced and high-quality staff.

We’ve evolved into a provider of choice for the types of firms we want to work with.

We can provide our clients with a range of services: from end-to-end investment solutions to helping out on Investment Committees to reporting services.

Whatever it is, we’re responsive, practical and always professional.

Why Evergreen

Our vision is to assist smaller institutions and financial planning firms in providing best-in-class investment solutions.

The key tenets of our approach are:

  • We are free from conflict. Our interests are aligned with our clients.
  • We conduct our own independent research. The best, most insightful research is the result of experience, hard work and time.
  • We are transparent and accountable.
  • We communicate with our clients. They receive a range of publications, information and data that they can use within their business or with their clients.
  • We want to grow with our clients. We see our clients as an extension of our business and want to work with them to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.

To find out more about Evergreen please click on pdf 24 Why evergreen Flyer?

Investment Philosophy and Beliefs

The stated investment beliefs and philosophy are:
  • Markets are sometimes inefficient, particularly over the short to medium term, so that there is an ability to sustainably add value at the asset class, fund and security level. That is, alpha exists.
  • At least some of these inefficiencies are linked to consistent behavioural biases in the markets. These include the tendency to overreact in the short term (in both directions), through positive feedbacks, and extrapolation of the recent past.
  • Market inefficiencies sometimes manifest themselves as ‘risk premia’, including value, illiquidity and boutique manager premia.
  • Risk and return are inextricably linked in all markets. However, while the pursuit of return guarantees risk, pursuing risk does not guarantee return. Nonetheless, properly understanding risk does help minimise downside.
  • The underlying value of an asset is determined by the present value of future cash flows. Integral to determining this is an understanding of inflation, growth, an asset’s probabilistic expected cash flows, and an appropriately risk-adjusted discount rate.
  • An objective and independent focus on asset valuation is paramount. At times this will lead to a necessarily contrarian positioning over and above any peer group constraints. This may also be termed Dynamic Asset Allocation

Our response to these beliefs can be summarized in the following points:

  • In order to add value, one must be forward looking and sometimes tilt away from the consensus. This applies as much to Evergreen's choices as to the managers it selects.
  • It is more important to manage for downside risk in portfolios and focus on risk-adjusted outcomes than to outperform in rising markets. A corollary is that it is more important to be wrong for the right reasons, than right for the wrong reasons.
  • Sometimes, passive investment is a valid way of investing.
  • It is important to have a long term view of markets and not react to short term price action.
  • Both qualitative and quantitative tools are valuable in managing portfolios: quantitative tools allow us to circumvent some behavioural biases and process information and data consistently, while qualitative views are valuable in the interpretation of information.

ESG

Coming soon.

Clients

We know no two firms are alike. Our clients value that we understand that and work with them to provide the services they need.

Our clients include small institutions and independent financial advisers all over the country. We work with them to create best-in-class investment solutions, suited particularly to their individual requirements.

We work with many of our clients to provide the full gamut of investment consulting services. However, we also work with many to provide a selection of services, such as

  • qualitative and quantitative reporting to an Investment Committee
  • analysis and assessment of existing strategic asset allocations and portfolios
  • performance analysis and
  • one off reports

Our Evergreen models appear on Macquarie Wrap and HUB24 and are available for firms that wish to outsource portfolio management to a trusted partner.