Julia Mylne, Forest Stewardship Council Australia

MARKET PULSE: Australian exchange traded fund (ETF) manager BetaShares, which launched its Global Sustainability Leaders (ASX: ETHI) early this year, has announced it’s setting up a new Melbourne office as it continues its growth trajectory, now with more than $4 billion in assets under management.

First up in new staff members is Damon Riscalla, who is joining the Melbourne office as national manager, adviser services.

Mr Riscalla brings with him 21 years’ experience across the banking, insurance and funds management industries, including experience in the Australian ETF industry – as ETF distribution manager at Russell Investments.

“We are pleased to welcome Damon into our team and look forward to building a strong on-the-ground presence in Victoria to help us meet increased client demand,” BetaShares managing director Alex Vynokur said.

Mr Riscalla’s appointment follows new hires in Sydney across the distribution, operations and finance functions.

ETFs are investment funds traded on the stock exchange. Most ETFs invest in only one type of asset class – shares or commodities.

Damon Rascalla, BetaShares

Since launching its first ETFs in December 2010, BetaShares has expanded to manage a diversified family of 39 funds.

Its Global Sustainability Leaders, the first global equities ETF available on the Australian Stock Exchange, uses a broad set of ethical eligibility screens.

The product creates the opportunity to invest in 100 large global stocks from developed market countries (excluding Australia) that meet strict environmental and ethical guidelines including being “climate leaders” – 60 per cent more carbon efficient than the average company.

ETHI excludes fossil fuels, live animal exports, tobacco, detention centres, gambling, armaments and junk food while concentrating on renewable energy, technology companies benefiting from global innovation, healthcare and healthy food.

Last week, BetaShares announced the launch of the Australian Small Companies Select Fund (managed fund) (ASX: SMLL), a competitively priced fund that seeks to provide investors with capital growth and income from a select portfolio of high-quality, profitable Australian small companies.

The fund will typically hold 50 to 100 stocks, drawn from ASX-listed stocks outside the 100 largest companies, but generally within the 350 largest companies by market capitalisation.

New voice for FSC

Forest Stewardship Council Australia has appointed Julia Mylne as its new policy and advocacy manager.

The international not-for-profit organisation promotes responsible forest management practices through standard setting and an internationally recognised certification-labelling program.

FSC Australia is entering a new phase with its strategic plan and, in line with the shifting focus, the role has developed from standards to include advocacy. It is hoped this new focus will give FSC Australia’s voice and views more impact and resonance.

Ms Mylne has experience in policy and advocacy both within government and industry. Previous roles include senior policy advisor/project manager at Queensland’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and policy advisory for the Queensland Government’s Department of Energy & Water Supply. She also owns the ethical fashion online store Lagom Studio.

Ms Mylne will support the implementation of the Australian Forest Stewardship Standard and develop content including position papers to support FSC Australia and NZ’s advocacy work. She will also develop stakeholder engagement guidelines and drive the implementation of FSC Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan.