Perth head-quartered Argonaut, the specialist natural resources investment banking firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Clifford as Managing Director – Head of Sydney and Joint Head of Funds Management, effective immediately.
Ben will join Argonaut as a member of the firm’s senior leadership team, serve as a Director on the main Argonaut Board and become one of the firm’s largest shareholders.
Ben will lead the establishment of a formal Sydney office to support Argonaut’s continued business and strategic growth initiatives.
Ben will work alongside David Franklyn to accelerate the growth of the high performing Argonaut Fund Management division. In this capacity he will assume the role of Portfolio Manager for the Argonaut Australian Gold Fund (AAGF) with David to continue as Portfolio Manager of the Argonaut Natural Resources Fund (ANRF).
Since the establishment of the ANRF in January 2020, it has consistently been one of the best performing funds in Australia:
|FY 2021||FY 2022||FY 2023 (YTD)||Since Inception|
|+ 56%||+ 44%||+ 27%||+ 200.2%|
In the three years since inception, the ANRF has been rated the “Top Performing Australian Equity Long-Only Fund” by Morningstar and rated by Australian Funds Monitors as the “No.1 Alternatives Equities Fund in Australia” and the “No.2 Best Performing Fund Overall” (of the over 700 Australian funds monitored).
The AAGF was established in November 2022 and has returned 18.6% in its first 6 months. It is Ben’s view, that is shared by Argonaut, that Australia should have a substantial and dedicated precious metals fund. There are many similar funds in North America and Europe but a lack of any such funds in Australia or Asia-Pacific. The existing AAGF mandate will now be repositioned as the Argonaut Global Precious Metals Fund to better capitalise on the strong fund performance and Argonaut’s positive view of the global gold sector thematic.
Commenting on the appointment, Argonaut’s Executive Chairman, Eddie Rigg said,
“Argonaut is delighted to welcome Ben as a key senior appointment as we expand the Argonaut platform across Perth and Sydney to better serve our Australian-based clients. We are pleased to have a leader of his calibre join our firm.
This appointment re-confirms Argonaut’s disciplined approach to growth, our focus on retaining and recruiting the best people and the firm’s position as a sought-after financial advisory, stockbroking & research and funds management business specialising in the natural resources sector.”
Argonaut Group Managing Director & Head of Corporate Finance Greg Southee said:
“I look forward to working closely with Ben as we execute Argonaut’s next stage of strategic growth.
From a funds management perspective, I am confident that the combination of Ben Clifford and David Franklyn jointly leading our funds management business will prove to be a powerful catalyst to scale funds under management to a level reflective of the outstanding performance delivered to investors.”
On accepting the role, Ben Clifford commented:
“I’m very pleased to be joining Argonaut, an already highly regarded platform of technical expertise within the natural resources space and look forward to enhancing and extending the brand recognition across both the investor and institutional landscape.”
Ben has over 25 years’ experience in financial advisory and funds management in Australia and internationally.
He most recently acted as Co-Head of Equities – Managing Director and board member at Goldman Sachs Australia where he oversaw the re-rate of the GS Australia & NZ equities franchise and had significant involvement in Goldman’s ECM success.
Prior to that role, Ben was Division Director, Head of Sales Trading for Australia and a Member of Australian Equities Operating Committee at Macquarie Bank having worked in Sydney and Tokyo.
For more information, please contact:
+61 418 942 304
+61 452 122 681
Argonaut (established 2002) is an integrated investment house with corporate, stockbroking & research, funds management and special situations financing capability in the Australia/Asian region.
With our head office in Perth, Argonaut is technically driven and focused on Metals & Mining, Energy, Agribusiness Businesses and Contractors that service the natural resource sector as well as select Industrial companies with market capitalisations between $30 million and $5 billion.