Established in 2014 and headquartered out of Sydney, Australia, Arowana Funds Management has managed capital for external investors across several strategies including private equity, private credit, special situations and listed global equities
The genesis of Arowana was an enterprise software business called RuleBurst Haley that we turned around and scaled globally before selling to Oracle in 2008. With some of the proceeds of that sale, Arowana Capital was set up to operate as a private equity fund, embracing capital from external family offices and institutional fund of funds in the process. In addition, we germinated an unlisted fund in 2009 to invest in listed equities, but in this case with only the capital of our own in-house team. Both the private equity fund and the listed equities fund performed admirably over the ensuing 5 years, generating net returns of circa 20% per annum.
As a result of interest from external investors, we decided to formally launch a funds management business, called Arowana Funds Management in 2014, based in Australia. During 2015, we launched 2 funds – the ASX listed Contrarian Value Fund (formerly the Arowana Australasian Value Opportunities Fund) and the unlisted Arowana Australasian Special Situations Fund (AASSF). In 2018, we launched a private credit fund called the Arowana Australian Special Income Opportunities Fund (ASIOF).
In 2019, we decided to conduct a strategic review of our Australian funds management activities, given the increasing regulatory volatility and costs for financial services industry participants in Australia. Furthermore, we wanted to assess whether our funds management activities were consistent with the B Corp triple bottom line of planet, people and profit (mindful that most funds management activities are a zero sum game). Our conclusion was to cease taking on external capital in Australia and indeed we decided it would be best to wind up our Australian funds and return monies to investors. In this regard, as of January 2020, we have wound up CVF and we are in harvest mode for our other 2 remaining Australian funds, being the AASSF and ASIOF.
We will however continue to grow our impact funds management activities across South East Asia, to leverage off our status as the only B Corp certified asset manager now headquartered in the region. In addition, we will be scaling up our venture capital investment arm which is located out of London. Both of these are more in sync with our B Corp status and our purpose of growing people, companies and value.