Former NSW premier Mike Baird says the Coalition should reflect on the lessons learnt from the weekend’s election loss, as he prepares to take the helm at a philanthropic fund manager that directs funding to charities supporting children and youth at risk.
Baird, a Liberal premier from 2014 to 2017, will on Thursday be announced as the next chair of Future Generation Australia, a pro bono position that aims to strengthen ties between the fund management sector and charities.
One of the most striking features of the weekend’s poll was the Liberal Party’s loss of traditionally blue-ribbon seats in inner Sydney and Melbourne to “teal” independent candidates. Baird was reluctant to talk about the election in any detail, but suggested the federal opposition should reflect on lessons learnt from the defeat.
“The only thing I would say is that I think following results like that, the best thing to do is take your time and reflect on the lessons learnt. It’s not the time to charge away and think you have all the answers. A good period of reflection is required,” Baird said.
He made the comment as Future Generation Australia, founded by veteran stockpicker Geoff Wilson, said Baird would become its new chair from the end of July, replacing Jonathan Trollip, who has chaired the company since it started in 2014.
Future Generation, led by chief executive Caroline Gurney, is an investment manager that gives investors access to portfolios managed by a group of fund managers, who are working pro bono, with 1 per cent of its assets given to charities.
Baird will continue in his day-to-day job as chief executive of aged care provider HammondCare, but will step down as chair of the Australian Business Growth Fund.
Baird, who has also been a senior executive at National Australia Bank after his time in politics, said Future Generation was aiming to expand its assets under management and charitable contributions by bolstering the links between the financial sector and charities.
“There’s great capacity, expertise, and financial resources within the corporate sector and, in this case specifically, the funds sector, and the question is how can they play a role in some of the bigger society challenges, in this case disadvantaged youth?” Baird said.
“For me, to play a role in that, to strengthen that bridge, is very exciting.”
As premier, Baird in 2015 nominated a dozen “Premier’s priorities,” which included addressing youth homelessness and protecting vulnerable children.
Wilson, a director of Future Generation, said that since the fund was launched, it had delivered “solid” investment returns and $26.8 million in “social investment” in its children and youth-at-risk charity partners.
“I think there’s a real opportunity there to rust on these fund managers to philanthropic causes and grow that significantly,” Wilson said.
As interest rates rise, causing sharemarket volatility, Wilson said it was an “incredibly tough” period for money mangers, but the market gyrations also created investment opportunities.
“As a fund manager, you learn to invest against your emotions, so when the market does fall – that’s when you get excited because that’s when the opportunities are there,” Wilson said.
The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.
Source: Thanks smh.com