2020 was a year of crisis. In response, Aura Group focused on risk management, increased investor communications and returned as much capital as we...
The Year that Changed Our Lives: 2020 Year in Review
The year started with so much opportunity - a new decade and, more importantly, two high-profile exits
It’s safe to say this year has been unforgettable.
For Aura Group, the year started with so much opportunity - a new decade and, more importantly, two high-profile exits i.e. the sale of 1300 Australia to ASX listed Uniti Wireless and the sale of the Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour to private investors in what was described by the press as the “Hotel Deal of the Year”.
However, we quickly found out, that 2020 had very different plans.
COVID-19 exploded around the world, markets plummeted, and the world went into lockdown. Governments worldwide reacted swiftly, pumping unprecedented liquidity into markets.
As Aura Group is an alternative investment platform with a technology bias, our positioning both from an investments and operations perspective was lucky. Our business was already cloud-native and our transition to working from home was reasonably smooth. We focussed on risk management, increased investor communications and returned as much capital as we could, to give our limited partners liquidity.
Our two core credit funds, the Aura High Yield SME Fund and Aura Property Credit Fund reached 3 and 4-year track records in August and November respectively and did so in style, navigating COVID-19 with material outperformance relative to benchmarks and nil losses since inception. Both funds continue to yield approx. 8-9% p.a., with distributions paid monthly.
Our venture capital funds have on balance benefitted from technology adoption accelerating and also achieved cash exits, including the high-profile sale of TradeGecko to Intuit in Sept 20. In 2020 Aura Partners qualified as an AFR Top 100 Accounting Firm for the first time.
The pandemic has proven there was never a better time to go shopping, with our Asia Private Equity team closing the management buyout of Anytime Fitness Asia during the lockdown when 95% of the gym network was shut. As of today, 95% of the gym network has re-opened, with new franchise sales accelerating. We also launched the Aura Tactical Opportunities Fund on August 20, a new special situations fund, which takes advantage of market dislocations.
Fast forward to today - we have been truly blessed and are incredibly thankful that our business strategies are working well, as our core funds under management grew from $332m to over $500m despite returning and distributing over $100m of capital to investors in 2020. Overall gross funds under management and advice sit at approximately $1.3b or $800m on an ownership-adjusted basis.
It was incredibly humbling to see and feel that, despite the pandemic and uncertainty, especially during the first half of 2020, you and our wider community continued to trust us as business advisors and stewards of your wealth and capital. We are also extremely proud of how our team banded together despite the uncertainty and physical separation.
Our vision remains to build trust that lasts generations. It’s years like this that reinforce the value of strong relationships and a long-term mindset. Our purpose is to help entrepreneurs, families and institutions build and protect wealth over generations. We aim to embrace technology, forge enduring relationships and deliver impactful outcomes so we can help our clients achieve their goals.
As 2020 draws to a close we have a lot to be thankful for and even more to be grateful for. I want to take this time to thank you, our valued community of investors, founders, staff, shareholders, and advisors, for your continued loyalty and support.
As for 2021, we look forward to continuing to bring you new and exciting ways to build and protect wealth over the long term.
On behalf of myself and the entire Aura Group team, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.
The minimum investment for Aura Group Funds is A$500,000 or A$100,000 for wholesale and sophisticated investors as defined by the Corporations Act 2001.
This page is provided by Aura Group and related entities and is only for information and general news purposes and does not constitute any offer or any such invitation of any sort or in any jurisdiction. You should not construe any such information or any material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. This page is intended for distribution only in those jurisdictions and to those persons where and to whom it may be lawfully distributed. All information is of a general nature and does not address the personal circumstances of any particular individual or entity. None of the information constitutes professional and/or financial advice, nor does any information constitute a comprehensive or complete statement of the matters discussed. The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of the author as of the date indicated and any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions. The page may contain certain statements deemed to be forward-looking statements, including statements that address results or developments that Aura expects or anticipates may occur in the future. Any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. This page is for the use of only those persons to whom it is given. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not disclose, redistribute or use the information in this page in any way.
Aura Group subsidiaries Aura Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Registration No. 201537140R) a Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) in Singapore and Aura Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 143 700 887) Australian Financial Services Licence 366230 holder in Australia and its authorised representatives manage funds for accredited, qualified, wholesale, sophisticated and institutional investors only. This page only relates to general news and information only and should not be construed as an offer.