2020 was a year of crisis. In response, Aura Group focused on risk management, increased investor communications and returned as much capital as we...
2022 Year in Review: Innovate. Sustain. Grow.
Managing Director Calvin Ng reflects on 2022 and outlines Aura Group's achievements throughout the year.
As 2022 draws to a close, we have a lot to be grateful for. I want to take this time to say thank you to our valued community of investors, founders, staff, shareholders, and advisors for your continued loyalty and support.
Over the year, Aura Group’s gross Funds Under Management and Advice (FUMA) grew to approximately A$1.47b, up 47% YoY, on an ownership adjusted basis (or approximately 2.28b, up 45% YoY, on gross basis). Our core Funds Under Management grew from $674m to over $1.09b (up 62% YoY) net of capital returns and distributions to investors so far in 2022.
We’ve also added over a dozen incredible businesses into the Aura Group eco-system, including Zenphi, Tutero, Prism+, Eratani, Tjufoo, AgriAku, Immutable, Layer, Cape, Gimo, T&C Logistics, PressPay and Aura FAT Projects Acquisition Corp.
In addition, we were involved in numerous exits, including the sale of Finsure Group to MA Financial for $152m, the sale of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the announcement of the NASDAQ SPAC merger of Avanseus. We also currently manage over $600m in private credit funds making regular distributions of income to our limited partners.
Whilst it’s essential to lead with the positive, it’s also important to be introspective, as we have experienced our fair share of misfires. One misfire was we didn’t exit as many assets as we would have liked, despite starting at least four further sales or IPO processes.
This time last year we were proud to announce the redefining of our corporate mission, which included the pillars:
Innovate. Sustain. Grow.
This past year increased focus on the Sustain pillar in terms of sustainability through discipline, patience and longer-term thinking. In 2021, the world focused on innovation and growth at all costs, fuelled by excessive quantitative easing and the general investor fear of missing out, as most risk assets enjoyed bubble-like conditions. If I had $100 for every time someone showed me a Price/Sales multiple last year, I would be a very happy man.
Few predicted the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which drove European commodity price shocks and an energy crisis. This compounded inflation, which hit 40-year highs and prompted central banks worldwide to begin to tighten monetary policy, requiring investment markets to digest a material increase in the cost of capital. A crypto meltdown—caused by simple poor risk management and fraud—was the icing on the cake.
The ramifications of 2022 will be far-reaching. Consumer trends will change as household wealth has decreased. Businesses will need to cut costs and reduce the investment of capex into new growth areas. Startups will find it harder to get capital. Asset prices will no longer have the tailwind of lower rates.
All of this is healthy. This year kickstarted a potentially overdue renewal process due to an era of cheap funding. Great businesses will survive and eventually thrive again.
For these reasons, as patient investors, we are ready for the future. As we look to 2023, we are excited to continue to bring you innovative and sustainable ways to build wealth over the long term.
On behalf of myself and the entire Aura Group team, have a happy festive season. We look forward to seeing you in 2023.