CCI’s team comprises over 21 executives including four full-time portfolio managers and nine full-time analysts with decades of fixed-interest trading, quant and credit research capabilities.
CCI’s unique analytical and quantitative capabilities are recognised in Australia and overseas as the basis for unusually high win ratios and prescient projections. CCI’s leadership is often called on to advise government on complex economic policy formulation. CCI’s chief investment officer co-developed the ideas for the Australian government to invest in the residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market during the global financial crisis and more recently the SME loan market. In 2018 CCI developed the world’s first hedonic index of RMBS default rates.
The team’s investment philosophy fuses both bottom-up and top-down quant asset pricing, credit rating and macro research with intensive operational, commercial and financial due diligence.
CCI’s Investment Committee and Compliance & Risk Committee is chaired by the experienced funds management and superannuation executive, Ms Melda Donnelly, who is supported by Mr Robert Henricks. Mr Alex Wise is a third member of the Compliance Committee.
CCI has an extensive sales and product team comprising a further four full-time professionals, led by Gary Walsh, Head of Asset Origination. Senior executive bios for the investment, operations, finance and risk teams can be found here.
CCI Team Biographies
Chair of the Board and Compliance & Risk Committee. Member, Investment Committee
Ms Donnelly was appointed Chair of Coolabah Capital’s Board and Compliance & RIsk Committee in 2015, and is a member of the Investment Committee. She is responsible for managing board processes relating to compliance, governance, strategy, performance and risk management. Ms Donnelly is a director of Treasury Group (ASX: TRG/mkt cap $200m and $49bn in FUM) and a member of HESTA’s ($32bn FUM) investment advisory board. Ms Donnelly’s previous work experience includes being CEO of the Queensland Investment Corporation, Deputy Managing Director of ANZ Funds Management, Managing Director of ANZ Trustees and chairperson of the Centre for Investor Education (CIE), a specialist education and consultancy firm for executives in Australian and overseas superannuation funds, institutional investment bodies and the financial markets. Ms Donnelly has also served as chair of Donnelly Money Management ($1bn in FUA), deputy chairperson of VFMC ($47bn FUM), and a director of: Unisuper ($50bn in FUM); Ashmore Group plc ($61bn FUM); Health Super ($9bn FUM); Network 10 Limited, and the Australian Accounting Standards Board. In addition, Ms Donnelly is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Oxford University Centre for Ageing. Ms Donnelly started her career at PriceWaterhouse as an audit/tax specialist and has a BComm from the University of Queensland and is a Chartered Accountant.
Independent Non-Executive Director, Board, Investment Committee, Compliance & Risk Committee
Mr Henricks was appointed an Independent Non-Executive Director of Coolabah Capital’s Board, Investment Committee and Compliance & Risk Committee in 2017. Bob was previously the 20 year Chairman of the $6 billion super fund, Energy Super. In 2015 he was named 2015 Trustee of the Year by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. He currently serves as a director of the $2 billion Gardior Infrastructure Fund and the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute Business Development Board. Bob was previously chair of the SPEC(Q) and AUST(Q) super funds, and a director of the CBUS super fund. Bob brings substantial governance, compliance and risk management expertise to the business.
Compliance & Risk Committee Member
Mr Wise joined Coolabah Capital’s Compliance & Risk Committee in 2016. He was previously the Head of Fund Services and Chief Operating Officer at OneVue RE Services Limited prior to becoming an industry consultant. Prior to joining the RE Alex was the founder of Orchard Harbour (Pty) Limited, an alternative investment consultancy business established in Sydney. Following completion of his postgraduate studies Alex entered the legal profession with Herbert Smith in London. In 2002 Alex joined Atlas Capital Limited as Group Legal Counsel and later became a Managing Director until November 2007 at which point he left to establish Orchard Harbour. Alex is a non-practising Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales, a non-practising English Barrister and he holds an Honours degree in Law from Cardiff University. Alex has been a frequent speaker at global conferences on the subject of corporate governance and operational due diligence.
Chief Investment Officer & Portfolio Manager
Christopher founded Coolabah Capital in 2011 and leads the portfolio management effort that has produced one of Australia’s top short-term fixed-interest capabilities. He is responsible for investment decisioning, portfolio management, research and asset pricing, and general business management, running a large team of portfolio managers and analysts. Christopher is also a Contributing Editor with The Australian Financial Review and well-known as one of Australia’s leading economists, policy advisors and fund managers. In 2019, CCI was selected as one of FE fundinfo’s Top 10 “Alpha Managers” based on his risk-adjusted performance throughout his career across all asset-classes. Christopher previously worked for Goldman Sachs in London and Sydney, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and was the founder of an award‐winning research and investment group, Rismark International. In 2009 The Australian newspaper selected Christopher as one of Australia’s top 10 “Emerging Leaders” in its economic/wealth category. In 2007 Christopher was selected by The Bulletin magazine as one of Australia’s “10 Smartest CEOs” and by BRW Magazine as one of “Australia’s Top 10 Innovators”. In 2008, the Australian Government invested $15 billion behind a policy proposal developed by Christopher to provide liquidity to the Australian RMBS market to mitigate the effects of the GFC. In 2019 the Australian government committed $2bn to invest in securitised SME loans on the basis of a policy proposal Christopher developed for the Treasurer at the time to enhance competition and liquidity in the SME finance sector. In February 2009, Christopher was invited by the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations to travel to advise the Obama Administration on the US housing crisis. Christopher served as a Director of The Menzies Research Centre, which is a leading Australian think‐tank, from 2003 to 2007. Christopher received Joint 1st Class Honours (Economics & Finance) and the University Medal in Economics & Finance from the University of Sydney, where he was a Credit Suisse First Boston Scholar, SIRCA and University Honours Scholar. He studied in the PhD program at Cambridge University in 2002 and 2003, where he was a Commonwealth Trust scholarship recipient.
Chair of Investment Committee & Portfolio Manager
Darren co-founded Coolabah Capital in 2011 with Christopher Joye. Darren is Chair of the Investment Committee and contributes to investment decisioning, portfolio management and risk management. He started his career at McIntosh Hamson Hoare Govett in 1987 in their graduate training program as a junior bond futures adviser and then options adviser. In 1989 Darren was headhunted to join Fay Richwhite to establish their bond option sales business. In that year he also assumed responsibility for trading interest rate options using Fay Richwhite’s balance-sheet and built a team of interest rate option and share price index traders that included five market-makers in total. Fay Richwhite went from no activity to the No. 1 option market‐maker on the Sydney Futures Exchange by volume and reputation. Darren was responsible for all the risk management associated with Fay Richwhite’s exchange-traded derivatives businesses reporting to the Head of Trading. In 1992 Deutsche Bank recruited Darren as an Associate Director and Head of Exchange Traded Options to replicate the market making business he had established inside Fay Richwhite. In 1994 Deutsche Bank promoted Darren to Director and Head of Exchange Traded and OTC Options, which included a team of six market makers reporting to the Head of Trading. During this time Darren was responsible for principal trading off Deutsche Bank’s balance-sheet across multiple asset classes, including equities, currencies, bonds, commodities, and derivatives. Darren was also responsible for risk management and staffing. In 1998 Darren moved to London with Deutsche Bank as a Director of Deutsche Bank Global Proprietary Trading in London where he traded interest rate derivatives, currencies and stock index securities, and reported to the Head of Deutsche Bank Global Proprietary Trading, Steve Kennedy. Darren resigned from Deutsche Bank in 2001 and established his family office, Bower Capital. He was approved as an Independent Member of the Sydney Futures Exchange/Australian Stock Exchange to invest his own money in the interest rate securities markets and received rebates from the exchange as a recognised market-maker. Darren was one of the largest independent interest rate options traders on the SFE/ASX and helped the SFE/ASX design its intraday interest rate option contracts for government bonds. He was Chairman of Sydney Futures Exchange’s Exchange Traded Option Committee between 1993 and 1995, and a Casual Lecturer in Derivatives and Options at Securities Institute of Australia in 1994-1995. Between 1996-1996 he was a member of the Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA) Over-the-Counter Option Committee. Bower Capital was approved as a recognised market maker and Independent Member of the SFE/ASX between 2001-2008.
Chief Risk Officer
Ed joined Coolabah Capital in 2013 as a Senior Credit Analyst and was promoted to Chief Risk Officer in 2018. As Chief Risk Officer, he helps lead credit risk analysis, risk management, compliance and governance across the business. Ed is a senior risk professional with over 20 years’ experience across fixed income funds management and bond insurance and corporate lending at leading domestic and global financial institutions. He has broad experience across industries and sectors, including: infrastructure and utilities, power and energy, property & real-estate, natural resources, oil & gas, media & telco, engineering and contracting, general industrials and agriculture. Ed has served in numerous credit research roles since 2000 including: Director, Debt Products & Global Risk, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Senior Credit Analyst, Fixed Income Credit Research at ING Investment Management; Vice President, Project Finance & Credit, at MBIA Insurance; Assistant Vice President, Corporate Risk Management at Citigroup; Associate, Project Finance & Credit, at Bank of America; and Credit Analyst, Institutional Banking, at NAB. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Bachelor of Laws from UNSW.
Portfolio Manager & Quant Analyst
Ash joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 in a full-time role as a quantitative analyst and portfolio manager and helps lead all portfolio management and research efforts. Ash was previously Director of Quantitative Strategies at the award-winning and strongly performing FX hedge fund, The Cambridge Strategy, between 2012 and 2016, based in London. At Cambridge Ash managed US$250m (and a small team) in medium-term, quant-based FX strategies spanning 2012-2016 with an average audited annual return of 13.4% and volatility of 8.2%, outperforming FX beta indices and FX and Macro Hedge Fund indices. Prior to Cambridge, Ash served as an investment analyst with portfolio management responsibilities covering FX, equities and fixed-income at the $800bn fund manager, Invesco between 2005 and 2012, based in Sydney. At Invesco he helped develop, analyse and manage multiple quant strategies including direct execution of fixed-income portfolios. Ash graduated with honours degrees in Law and Engineering (Software) from Melbourne University, has extensive quant analytical and programming skills, and in his youth was awarded Australian government prizes for mathematics.
Dr Stephen Parker
Portfolio Manager & Quant Analyst
Steve joined Coolabah Capital in 2016 in a full-time role as a quantitative analyst and in 2017 was promoted to a junior portfolio management role. Today he serves as a portfolio manager and quant analyst, contributing to all investment and research activities. Steve was previously a futures trader at Star Beta focussing on Australian and US government bonds and the formulation of quantitative trading strategies and risk management models for these markets, and prior to this worked for a consulting firm. In 2013 Steve completed a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of New South Wales that involved developing numerical and computational algorithms used in searching for brown dwarfs in several nearby star clusters. This included the creation and optimisation of automated pattern recognition algorithms, as well as simulating their use to optimise their effectiveness. He was awarded 1st Class Honours in his Bachelor of Science (Advanced) in Physics and Astronomy from UNSW. Steve’s honours year involved completion of two seperate Astrophysics projects, the first studying the spectra of distant quasars and the second involving searching for companions to nearby brown dwarfs. He is passionate about using data and numerical analysis to aid in making strong, evidence based decisions in research, financial and commercial contexts.
Senior Credit Analyst
Jason joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 in a full-time role as a senior credit analyst. Jason has over 15 years buy-side experience specialising in fundamental and technical credit analysis across the capital structure. Previously at Hadron Capital LLP, a London based global relative value and event driven multi-asset class hedge fund, he was jointly responsible for the Credit Long/Short absolute return portfolio. The strategy sought relative value and catalyst driven investments, with portfolio views expressed using Corporate Bonds, Hybrids, Credit Default Swaps and Loans. Prior to Hadron, Jason was the Credit Portfolio Manager at RBC Capital Markets London, responsible for the European Credit Proprietary Trading Portfolio. He built and continually developed the credit process at both funds, while hiring, training and managing the relevant credit analyst teams. At Credit Suisse Capital Markets London, Jason was a Private Equity/Private Placements Analyst, investing proprietary capital in sub investment grade public companies, via the issuance of privately placed structured debt and equity securities. He was involved in the entire investment process from initial on-site due diligence, credit analysis, negotiation of terms, documentation and ongoing portfolio maintenance. Previous roles include Credit Risk Management at Credit Suisse London and NAB Corporate Banking in both London & Melbourne. Jason has a Bachelor of Economics and Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
Ying Yi Ann Cheng
Portfolio Management Director & Market Technicals Analyst
Ying Yi joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 as a full-time portfolio management director and market technicals analyst focussing on market research, analysis and technical factors, while also assuming responsibility for external stakeholder management. She spent the majority of her career at Citibank in London, where she was a Vice President, specialising in G10 and Emerging Market currencies, advising hedge fund clients and sovereign asset managers on alpha generating and risk management strategies. She was most recently at RBC Capital Markets working within fixed-income and credit. Prior to the sell side, Ying Yi had interned at Colonial First State and PwC in various quantitative roles. She has also held various advisory roles with tech startups in London and Sydney. After receiving a 99.95 ATAR for her HSC studies, ranking her in the top 0.05% of all secondary students, Ying Yi graduated with honours in Actuarial Science from the University of New South Wales, where she was the recipient of a Co-op Scholarship and included on the Dean’s Honour Roll for her year of exchange at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Senior Credit Analyst
Andrew joined Coolabah Capital in 2015. He is involved in credit risk analysis, quantitative asset pricing, and assisting with portfolio management. He was the Credit Strategist at the $5.5 billion Australian fixed-income manager Vianova (2008-2013), and its successor Brookline Partners (2014-2015), where he was responsible for all quantitative and qualitative credit analysis and valuation, as well as having input into macroeconomic strategy. He has over 15 years buy-side experience analysing Australian and indeed overseas credits from a bottom-up and top-down perspective and built and maintained the credit process at Perennial, Vianova and Brookline. Prior to Vianova, Andrew was a Senior Credit Analyst at the $6 billion fixed-income fund manager Perennial Investment Partners (2001-2008) where he designed and implemented Perennial’s in-house credit risk pricing models. After 3 years working as an economist with various government agencies in Australia and overseas, Andrew started his private sector career at NAB where he spent 7 years working as an Economist focussing on quantitative industry analysis for Australia, the UK and the US. At NAB Andrew was heavily involved in developing commodity price and commercial property forecasting models that consistently outperformed consensus expectations.
Senior Data Scientist
Kai joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 in a full-time role as a Senior Data Scientist focusing on asset pricing and portfolio management. Kai was previously a Data Scientist at CBA where he built machine learning models to project customer propensities. He was also involved in data mining projects with heavy use of R, Python, Hadoop, Hive, SQL and Linux tools. Prior to CBA Kai interned as signal processing researcher at Cochlear. Kai graduated from UNSW with 1st Class Honours and the University Medal in his Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) program where his thesis researched pose estimation and trajectory matching. He is currently completing a Masters of Statistics at UNSW. Kai was awarded an ATAR of 99.90 in his HSC while at Sydney Boys High. Prizes have included the Ben Rudzyn Memorial Prize in Signal Processing, the Engineers Australia Student Prize (Electrical & IT Division), and the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) Student Prize.
Dr Ainslie Yuen
Senior Data Scientist
Ainslie joined Coolabah Capital in 2018 in a full-time role as a Senior Data Scientist focusing on asset pricing and portfolio management. She was previously a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in New York, where she worked as a Strategist in the Special Situations Group, a principal investments area, concentrating on ABS and RMBS performance, amongst other things. Ainslie was awarded a PhD in Engineering (Statistical Signal Processing Laboratory) in 2005 from Cambridge University where she focussed on statistical analysis of intertrade durations of stocks and their relationship with price volatility using wavelets, fractal, multifractal, and correlation analysis techniques. Following her PhD, Anslie worked as a Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the Universitie of Paris VII. She graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (First Class Honours) from the University of Western Australia in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science in Physics (Top First Class Honours) in 1993 from UWA. Ainslie has received numerous awards, including the King’s College Wilkinson Fund award for a one month research visit to Paris (2005), a Cambridge University Engineering Department award for a two month research visit to Boston in 2002, the University of Western Australia Telecommunications Society Prize, a Vacation Scholarship at the Radiophysics Division of the CSIRO, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies Medal, and the Western Australian Government General Exhibition (for the top twenty students in Western Australia in 1989).
Mat joined Coolabah Capital in 2019 in a full-time role as a credit analyst. Mat previously worked as an Assistant Manager in corporate finance with BDO focussing on valuations, M&A advisory, financial modelling and due diligence and as an undergraduate engineer at Winslow Civil Constructors. He graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with 1st Class Honours having completed his VCE at St Kevin’s College with a VCE Enter Score of 98.55, where he was a School Prefect and the recipient of the Edmund Rice Medal for the exhibition of excellence and contribution to the College.
Senior Operations Analyst
Param joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 as a Senior Operations Analyst. Param oversees the day to day Middle Office function of the business. Prior to his current role, Param has worked at major global custodians such as State Street and BNP and Australian bank, Westpac, where he was involved in investment management services related to middle office and provision of client services to local and global investment manager entities. Param was involved in projects ranging from onboarding of IM clients on to the custodian platforms, conversion of manual trade processes to STP and automated trade processing platforms. Param graduated from Central Queensland University Rockhampton with a Bachelor in Business Accounting.
Chief Financial Officer
Oliver joined Coolabah Capital in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. Oliver previously held a duel role as CFO/COO of the XTB Group where he was responsible for the financial management and operational capabilities of over 60 XTBs listed on the ASX. He was also a member of the Investment and Risk Committees and was responsible for the operations of Challis Investment Partners, a market maker for XTBs. Prior to that, Oliver served as Vice President, Operations at Blackrock Asset Management, reporting to the Australian COO and APAC Head of Investment Operations. Oliver has also been significantly involved in the establishment and growth of a number of managed funds in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK. Oliver is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington.
Junior Credit Analyst
Seb joined Coolabah Capital in 2019 as a Junior Credit Analyst after graduating from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics and a Bachelor of Finance. He played football at SANFL level for the Sturt Football Club before taking the opportunity to study for a year at Purdue University in the United States (where he joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity). Seb studied physics at Purdue and took particular interest in computational physics and quantum mechanics. Following his return from the US Seb took an internship in Bangalore, India and developed data extraction methods at Infosys Limited.
Tim joined Coolabah Capital in 2019 in a full-time role as a Portfolio Analyst. Tim previously worked as a Trader at Exponential Trading, a proprietary-trading company, moving from Brisbane to join their team as a Graduate in July 2018. In this role, Tim was responsible for trade strategy generation and execution, as well as data analysis. Prior to this, Tim completed a Dual Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Queensland, graduating with a High Distinction in a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Mathematics (extended). Whilst completing his tertiary qualifications, Tim served as a Data Scientist at Max Kelsen, a software engineering firm in Brisbane. In this role, Tim conducted market research and analysis for a range of clients.
Brianna joined Coolabah Capital in 2017 as a Financial Analyst and Executive Support Specialist. Brianna works within financial control, reporting to the CFO. Brianna is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce – Professional Accounting at Macquarie University. Prior to her current role, Brianna worked at a leading international design company, Unispace Global, where she held a dual role in the Executive Support and Finance Team.
Head of Asset Origination
Gary joined Smarter Money Investments’ retail fund business in 2014 as a full-time Head of Strategic Alliances and Distribution, focusing on raising awareness of SMI’s retail products in the IFA and Family Office markets. In July 2019, he became Coolabah Capital’s Head of Asset Origination after Coolabah wholly acquired Smarter Money Investments. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Gary has had exposure to many aspects of the financial services sector including as a practicing Adviser, AFSL management executive with Total Financial Solutions Australia, investment platform distribution executive and, more recently, product distribution for the Smarter Money Investments’ and Coolabah Capital Investments’ suite of products and custom mandate solutions. Gary holds a Master of Commerce (Marketing) and is focused on maximising CCI’s reach and FUM support by managing both the internal and external distribution relationships across multiple strategic channels and jurisdictions.
National Product & Strategy Specialist
Luke joined Smarter Money Investments in 2016 as an Investment Specialist and in 2019 was promoted to National Product & Strategy Specialist. He is responsible for product and strategy development and management across Coolabah’s wider business. Between 2008 and 2015, Luke worked for one of BBB Capital’s portfolio companies as head of product, strategy and marketing servicing a wide range of stakeholders. Luke holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is an avid water polo player, representing his school’s 1st team for three years in succession.
National Product & Analytics Specialist
Theodore joined Smarter Money Investments (SMI) in January 2018 as National Manager, Product and Analytics, and following Coolabah Capital’s acquisition of SMI in 2019, he serves as Coolabah’s National Product & Analytics Specialist. Theodore’s key responsibilities include managing all product analytics, performance reporting, due diligence processes, and investor relations for all retail, wholesale and institutional clients. Theodore previously headed up the research capability within the ASX listed Centrepoint Alliance Limited where he was accountable for managing the development and maintenance of asset consulting responsibilities including investment research, model portfolios/portfolio construction, strategic asset allocations, market intelligence and risk profiling across Centrepoint’s advice business. Theodore has over 22 years financial services experience and has held further senior research and strategy roles at CBA, Colonial First State, ING Australia, AMP Financial Services and ClearView Financial Management. Theodore holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Mathematics) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investments. Theodore was also awarded the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) scholarship and achieved the CIMA designation through the CIMA Society in 2011.
Elias joined Coolabah Capital in 2018 in a full-time role as an Investment Specialist. Elias previously worked as a Relationship Manager at Citigroup focusing on Structured Investments, Fixed Income and Cash. After graduating from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance, Elias began his career in Audit at BDO before making the movie into Funds Management.