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Moelis Australia: attracting foreign investment

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Publication Date: 
November 2020
Case study from: Industry Innovation and Science Australia annual reports

Moelis Australia is a diversified financial services firm that specialises in asset management. They also offer services in investment banking, and equity sales and trading.

The firm was established in 2009 and has been ASX-listed since 2017.

Moelis Australia’s Asset Management (MAAM) division are a later stage investor. They invest in companies that have reached a revenue of $5 million. These companies have a global vision and application. 

“We’re looking for really good Australian businesses that have a global and sustainable technology or product,” said Will Moelis, an Investment Director in the MAAM team. 

MAAM has two registered Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP):

  • The Moelis Australia Private Investment Fund 
  • The Moelis Australia Growth Capital Fund II 

Both funds have close to 200 investors collectively. They have secured 12 investments and 3 exits since May 2015.

The total committed capital across the two VCLPs is approximately $100 million. Almost all limited partners are foreign investors. Significant Investment Visas facilite their contributions. 

The VCLP program helped MAAM to attract foreign investors to the Australian market. Foreign investors may provide additional expansion, export or channel partnership opportunities. These opportunities are for investee companies of the partnerships. It also incentivised investors to take on the risk of supporting Australian businesses. They do this through committing and providing their capital to the partnerships. 

Attracting foreign capital through the VCLP program supports Australian growth and innovation. It is something Moelis Australia sees as a major benefit of the program. 

“The VC program in Australia helps these businesses grow their scale outside Australia and then basically demonstrates well that we can generate innovative businesses that can be players on a global scale,” said Will Moelis, an Investment Director in the MAAM team. 

“Increasingly, you can’t just plan to conquer Australia because it’s a globalised world, you have to be able to win on global scale, and that’s what the VC program is helping these businesses do.” 

“The VCLP program has allowed these businesses to go global in scale and showcase Australia’s talent for innovation.” 

Moelis Australia have offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Shanghai. They manage 50 to 60 funds in total. 

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