In an episode of The Zurich Project Podcast, presented by MOI Global, Adrian Warner, managing director and chief investment officer of Sydney-based Avenir Capital, discusses public equity investing with a private equity mindset, the five investment models of Avenir Capital, and why he ultimately decided to partner with a larger investment company.

Public Equity Investing with a Private Equity Mindset

Adrian spent almost two decades in private equity before founding Avenir.

We discuss some of the differences and similarities between investing in the private and public markets. We address the largest differences; how Avenir incorporates the private equity model into its public market investment operation; as well as the strengths and weaknesses of private equity vs. public equity investing, and vice versa.

The Five Investment Models of Avenir Capital

The firm invests along five investment models and tries to achieve a balance of those across the portfolio (see list below).

We discuss why Avenir takes that approach and what it sees as the advantages of doing so.

  • Undervalued franchises
  • Public “leveraged buyouts”
  • Cash flow “cannibals”
  • Special situations
  • Traditional value

The Decision to Partner with a Larger Investment Company

Adrian started Avenir Capital as a “one-man band”, modeled after the Buffett Partnerships. Avenir has since formed a partnership with Fidante Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly-traded Challenger Financial Group (Australia: CFG).

We discuss the rationale behind the strategic change and the differences of partnering with a large funds management group like Fidante versus operating as a standalone boutique.

This conversation is also available as an episode of Build a Great Firm, a member podcast of MOI Global. (Learn how to access member podcasts.)

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Adrian Warner is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Avenir Capital and is responsible for the portfolio management of the Avenir Global Fund. Prior to founding Avenir Capital, Adrian worked in private equity investment in Australia and the United States with an investment record spanning over 20 years. Immediately prior to establishing Avenir, Adrian was Managing Director and part-owner of Catalyst Investment Managers Pty Ltd, a mid-market Australian private equity firm with approximately $900m funds under management as at December 2009. Before joining Catalyst, Adrian was Managing Director at CVC Asia Pacific Ltd, one of the leading private equity groups in Asia with approximately US$2.75 billion funds under management as at December 2006 and part of the CVC Capital Partners Group.

Adrian has also worked at Pacific Equity Partners Pty Ltd, the largest Australian-based private equity firm and also at AEA Investors Inc., one of the longest standing private equity groups in the United States. Adrian was also a management consultant at Bain & Company and has worked in Australia, the United States and Asia.

Adrian holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours) from the University of New South Wales.