Call for ‘wholesale’ fund to boost potential $60bn social investment

November 14, 2020

Australia is ready for a more sophisticated market in impact investing according to Michael Traill, who has spent almost two decades encouraging Australians to invest for profit — and good.

As the chair of the federal government’s task force on social impact investing — investment measured by both financial returns and success in a social objective — Traill argues the nation needs to scale up for a potential $60bn market by setting up a “wholesaler” to bring deals to potential investors.

The task force has just presented its final report to the government and while its recommendations are still under wraps, Traill tells The Deal the group has identified the need to develop the “architecture” of the market to offer more products to investors such as superannuation funds, foundations, philanthropists and those prepared to accept a “below conventional risk return”.

“I think there is an appetite for larger scale impact investing,” he says. “There’s been an evolution and a set of developments over the last decade that would suggest that this market is ready for that but it would need some encouragement and stimulation for that to happen.” Till now most investments of this sort in Australia are about $50,000 to $10m but Traill sees potential for a spread of investments with up to $50m at the top end.

He says some industry superannuation funds, such as HESTA, have been proactive, showing financial returns consistent with the “sole purpose test” which directs funds to invest only for the retirement benefit of members.

The task force, set up in the 2019 federal budget to investigate the role the commonwealth should play in developing investment to “provide solutions to address entrenched disadvantage and some of society’s most intractable social problems” released an interim report last December. It identified three existing segments — social impact bonds which provide start-up funds for potential future return; the approximately 20,000 social enterprises of small to medium size with less than $10m turnover; and large scale enterprises of which only about six have an annual turnover of more than $50m. The interim report flagged the need for an early stage foundation; a body to promote more “outcome-based” funding opportunities; and a wholesale fund similar to Big Society Capital in Britain. The latter, it said, was “critical” for growing the sector.

Big Society Capital, was set up in 2012 as a £400m ($727m) fund to support and co-invest with fund managers to invest in social enterprises. It has since signed £540m of investment and attracted more than £1.2bn of coinvestments.

In an interview with The Deal, Traill emphasises that if the market is to scale up, Australia will need impact investment “wholesalers” to operate as intermediaries in the same way as fund managers operate in investment generally. Such a body would also attract people who could “talk a tripartite language” of business, social performance and community, and government. “A lot of the impacting investing space — think social housing, think aged care, early learning, NDIS — has an element of understanding of government policy funding and engagement,” Traill says.

“It becomes a virtuous circle. If you can set up funds that have $40m to $50m in them rather than $5m to $10m, by definition it is easier to hire (top talent).”

The task force found that high net worth funders, foundations and super funds which are already investing in social projects are often hungry for more products. They were saying “we would like to do more, we’ve been quite happy with the financial returns, the visibility of social impact, but we’d like to actually do three to five times the amount of what we are doing”.

“The question is then, how you develop more products?” Traill says. “We think that the answer is to set up the kind of partnerships that support the sustained development of intermediaries ethical fund managers who can originate these opportunities and transactions.” But he says the fragmented market will need support across all three segments from the earliest stage seed funding to mid-sized social enterprises to larger scale projects. This is needed in order to build skills for the bigger projects.

Traill left investment bank Macquarie 20 years ago to become founding chief executive of Social Ventures Australia. Back then the focus was on “venture philanthropy” and the use of performance metrics to bring venture capital disciplines to philanthropy without demanding a return on investment. “What has happened over the 20 years since is a much more sophisticated understanding that there will be opportunities to mobilise even bigger chunks of capital where you can combine reasonable financial returns and social purpose,” says Traill.

At present impact investing totals about $1bn in Australia but Traill suggests it could grow to 2 per cent of the overall local investment market of about $3 trillion. “I don’t think that’s a naive or aspirational target... 2 per cent is still mobilising massive pools of money. It could be a $60bn market. But to get to that point you would want it to be recognised as a mainstream asset class in the same way as private equity or infrastructure or direct property.”

Traill says super funds are interested in investments of $20m to $50m and above. That means they need projects of between $50m to $100m and above. “That is actually a big chunk of the market when you think about aged care, you think about TAFE and further education, early learning childcare, social and affordable housing,” he says. “The NDIS housing (for example) has been effective in encouraging funding into that market. These are clearly multibillion-dollar chunks of the economy.

“Wind the clock forward five or 10 years and I think there will be a very broad church of impact investors. The super funds have to provide reasonable long-dated financial returns and I think there is a transaction opportunity there that will appeal to them. “I think that will be a big market and then you’ll have a spectrum of impact investment that draws on the original pool of foundations, philanthropists and investors who want to generate a return but may be prepared to accept a ‘below conventional risk return’. And that’s already happening.”

The British system was boosted by using “unclaimed monies” and Sir Ronald Cohen, the force behind its establishment, has suggested Australia make similar use of so-called passive funds. But Traill says there are legislative and technical problems in “liberating” these funds in Australia, and the task force has not recommended that idea. Nor is it pushing legislative change to help Australia scale up the sector.

“We think it is much more about government encouragement and enabling,” says Traill. He says the final report addresses two other issues that have held back development of the sector — the need for capacity building for early stage social entrepreneurs who need resources; and “a very specific gap which we came to know as the valley of debt funding”. This refers to the problems faced by a social enterprise which is up and running but is too small to access the next tranche of capital — often between $25,000 to $150,000 — to allow it to grow to the next level.

Full article via The Australian

HELEN TRINCA, THE DEAL EDITOR AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR Helen Trinca is a highly experienced reporter, commentator and editor with a special interest in workplace and broad cultural issues.

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For Purpose Investment Partners Disability Services Platform Acquires Tender Loving Cuisine

2 May 2024 - Leading Australian social impact investment fund manager For Purpose Investment Partners (FPIP) has acquired national meal delivery business Tender Loving Cuisine (TLC) through FP Ability Pty Ltd (FP Ability), its Disability Services platform. Primarily serving aged care customers accessing funding through Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, TLC complements FP Ability’s existing portfolio company, Able Foods. The strategic acquisition bolsters FP Ability’s presence in a growth market with quality products that support customer health and wellbeing.

FPIP Managing Director Victoria Adams said “We are excited to announce the acquisition of TLC. This represents an opportunity to grow the offering and impact of our meal platform with complementary companies that are focused on improving health outcomes and increasing choice for customers. With established operations and serving a customer base that includes seniors and people with disabilities, TLC is a highly values-aligned company that will continue to deliver strong outcomes into the future.”

Founded in 1995 by Jack Barker, TLC was established in Sydney and has expanded to national operations. TLC offers home-style, high-quality healthy meals delivered directly to customers and has steadily built a strong reputation and brand recognition.

Mr Barker reflected “for almost 30 years we’ve built a great business that supports people with a home-cooked meal when they can’t make it themselves. We’ve helped our customers as they recuperated following a hospital stay, or provided a service that meant people could better manage at home as they age. I am proud of what we have achieved, and I am confident that FP Ability is the right owner to take the business forward. I am excited about the opportunity that TLC now has under the FP Ability banner to grow and provide better access to healthy meals, including opportunities to work together with Able Foods.”

FP Ability is pursuing a goal of increasing access to high-quality, nutritious meals that will improve the health outcomes for vulnerable Australians including elderly people and people living with disabilities. TLC brings this goal closer with Able Foods, a business focused predominantly on serving National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) customers with a growing presence in the Home Care Package market, acquired in December 2022.

Victoria explains, “We know that improved nutrition and choice leads to better health outcomes which supports wellbeing, independence, and an overall better quality of life for individuals. For almost 30 years now TLC have been making a positive impact for customers, we are proud to build on Jack’s legacy and increase our presence alongside Able Foods.”

Funding for the acquisition will come from FPIP’s Social Impact Fund I. FPIP was advised by Hamilton Locke and BDO, while TLC were advised by HWL Ebsworth and EP Advisors.


About For Purpose Investment Partners (FPIP)

For Purpose Investment Partners is a not-for-profit social impact investment manager, created to pursue an important mission; bringing private sector capital and capabilities into sizeable businesses and projects to create significant social impact. Established in 2018 by pioneering impact investor Michael Traill AM, FPIP have grown to have $185m of funds under management.

Media contact| 0405 306 414

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For Purpose Investment Partners Announces Landmark A$75 million Commitment from Qantas Super

24 April, 2024 - Leading Australian impact investment fund manager For Purpose Investment Partners (“For Purpose”) has announced a $75 million commitment from Qantas Superannuation Limited (“Qantas Super”) to its aged care platform. The funds from Qantas Super, one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit corporate super funds, represent the first major institutional commitment to For Purpose. Australia’s leading ethical investment fund manager, Australian Ethical Investment (AEF), has also made an initial $10 million commitment to the For Purpose aged care platform, with the potential for that to grow.  

These commitments will enable the anticipated completion of a large-scale aged care acquisition. The acquisition will take the number of facilities owned by For Purpose’s not-for-profit aged care platform FP Aged Care Australia from four to nineteen, including development sites. Luson Aged Care, a wholly owned subsidiary of FP Aged Care Australia, will remain as the operator and approved provider of the facilities.

In addition to Qantas Super’s $75 million commitment, which is being led by Qantas Super’s Chief Investment Officer Andrew Spence, For Purpose manages almost $100 million committed from family offices, foundations, and high net worth individuals.  It has just under $80 million is in its Social Impact Fund, which aims to drive institutionally appropriate risk weighted returns with measurable social purpose.

Alongside its existing $20 million investment in FP Aged Care Australia, For Purpose also manages investments in vocational education and training, specialist disability accommodation, and disability food services.

Mr Traill described the Qantas Super investment as a breakthrough for the aged care platform.
“The commitment of Qantas Super will enable us to significantly grow our platform in aged care, and hopefully together we can achieve our ambition of transforming the aged care sector. Andrew and his team backed our practical belief that the right way to drive attractive long term financial returns is to be very explicit about quality and measurable social impact,” he said.  

“We have been very patient in building the right aged care team and platform led by Executive Chair Toby Hall, who has been key in driving this work and finding the right assets.  Toby brings a depth of experience from his prior roles as CEO at Mission Australia and St Vincent's Health Australia, as well as being a founding colleague on the first board of Goodstart. That combination of accessing capital and operating critical human service sectors at ethical scale is vital.”  

Mr Spence said that the commitment to For Purpose aligns with Qantas Super’s approach of partnering with best-in-class investment managers.  

“We’re very open to backing early stage or first-time fund managers which has been a consistent source of value add for Qantas Super’s members.  Our focus is on identifying a manager’s sustainable competitive advantage in terms of people, capability, alignment of interest, and a strong track record. Michael has assembled an outstanding team who share the twin passions of delivering attractive financial returns, which is our first priority, and a strong ethical focus. I can’t think of a more important combination in aged care.

“For us, it’s always about partnering with the right talent. With our team having worked very closely with the For Purpose team, we are confident our investment partnership is in good hands.”

Australian Ethical’s Chief Investment Officer Ludovic Theau said “we are delighted to partner with For Purpose to grow its aged care platform, delivering high quality services to residents, and offer appropriate risk-adjusted returns for investors.”  

“We’re growing our investment in impact investing more broadly; we see strong alignment between For Purpose’s values and culture and Australian Ethical’s Investment Charter.”

The partnership through its focus on social impact reflects Qantas Super’s commitment to investing in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) themes, which is further supported by both partners in Qantas Super and For Purpose being not-for-profit fund managers.  

“At Qantas Super, we believe ESG factors increasingly impact investment returns and risks and contribute to us delivering sustainable growth to our members,” Mr Spence said.  



Media contact | 0405 306 414

About For Purpose

For Purpose was founded in 2018 by leading impact investor Michael Traill and philanthropist and entrepreneur Mark Carnegie to focus on large-scale impact investing. Its approach is modelled on the precedent established by Goodstart Early Learning, which Mr Traill launched in 2010 and became one of the country’s most successful large scale social enterprises, and the largest provider of early learning and care. For more information, visit

About Qantas Super  

Qantas Super is one of Australia’s largest corporate super funds. It exists for people who are working for, or have worked for, the Qantas Group and their spouses. Qantas Super has been working for its members since 1939 and has over 26,000 members and approximately $8.5 billion in assets under management. For more information, visit

About Australian Ethical

Australian Ethical is Australia’s leading ethical investment manager. Since 1986, Australian Ethical has provided investors with investment management products that align with their values and provide long-term risk adjusted returns. Investments are guided by the Australian Ethical charter which shapes its ethical approach and underpins both its culture and vision. Australian Ethical have over $9.0 billion in funds under management across managed funds and superannuation. For more information, visit  

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For Purpose Investment Partners Innovative Aged Care Platform Grows With Acquisition of Signature Care, Appointment of a Group CEO


· Established by For Purpose Investment Partners (FPIP), For Purpose Aged Care Australia (FPACA) is a not-for-profit aged care platform focused on achieving excellent health and wellbeing outcomes for residents and attracting and retaining quality staff.

· The acquisition will bring together aged care providers Luson and Signature Care under FPACA, led by Group CEO Matthew Filocamo.

· Backed by $85m commitment from institutional investors, FPACA will become a top-15 national aged care provider with this acquisition.


24 April 2024 - For Purpose Aged Care Australia (FPACA), owner of a leading not-for-profit aged care provider Luson, proudly announces the strategic acquisition of Signature Care, a provider of residential aged care services across Australia. This acquisition will see FPACA become a top-15 aged care provider in Australia with an initial 1,394 residential aged care places and increasing to over 2,500 places within two years across 18 sites in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. Alongside this significant portfolio growth, FPACA is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Filocamo as Group CEO, commencing a new leadership era.

The FPACA Chair, Toby Hall, expressed enthusiastic support for both the acquisition and Matthew Filocamo's appointment, stating, "This is a transformative moment for FPACA and the broader aged care community in Australia. The acquisition of Signature Care is a strategic step that aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional care services to Australians from all backgrounds. We have demonstrated new and innovative ways of growing the sector to have a broader social impact that is customer centric. Matt and I have worked closely together with For Purpose Investment Partners for almost two years. Matt's experience and leadership in aged care make him the ideal leader to guide FPACA through this exciting next chapter."

With a mission to develop a model of aged care that achieves excellent health and wellbeing outcomes for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds, FPACA's approach attracts top staff and enables residents to age in place with dignity and choice. This pivotal move, scheduled for completion on 1 June 2024, signifies a major advancement in FPACA's goal to improve aged care services nationally. FPACA currently own and operate Luson, a Victorian based aged care provider with three operational homes with 305 places and a further development site that would yield 136 places.

The acquisition of Signature Care merges the strengths and capabilities of both organisations, promising to enhance the care and services provided to older Australians and provide great benefits and conditions to staff. This partnership reflects a shared commitment to excellence and innovation in aged care.

FPACA was established by social impact investment manager FPIP. FPIP Founder and Executive Director Michael Traill AM said “We are very excited to reach an agreement to acquire Signature Care. We believe investors like FPIP have an important role to play as stewards of these crucial social assets going forward, ensuring residents get a great experience at an affordable price while also making sure that the business is run in a manner that delivers appropriate risk-adjusted returns for investors and attracts further capital to a sector which badly needs it. The business is in great hands led by Matt and supported by Toby as Chair, and we will look to support them to continue to grow the business."

Matthew Filocamo said "I am honoured and excited to lead FPACA into this new era. The partnership with Signature Care underscores our shared dedication to enhancing aged care in Australia. I look forward to driving our collective vision forward, fostering innovation, and making a meaningful impact on the lives of those we serve."

Signature Care Director, Amal Witnish, said “It has been a privilege over the past 3 years to develop the business to this point and make Signature Care what it is today, a leader in the provision of high-quality care and accommodation, with embedded IT, enabling person-centred care. FPACA and Luson, as not-for-profits, will provide additional incentives to attract and retain staff through salary packaging and other employment benefits and will ensure residents receive quality care by retaining and further advancing Signature Care’s innovation and investment in the sector.”

There will be no disruption to residents or employees of Signature Care’s and Luson’s businesses during the transition of ownership, and the businesses will continue to operate under their individual brands for the foreseeable future overseen by the Group CEO and Board.

The transaction is contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from the Department of Health and Aged Care. The parties were introduced by Amicum Pty Limited, FPIP were advised by Gilbert +Tobin and PwC, and Signature Care were advised by K&L Gates, Madgwicks Lawyers and Deloitte.


-ends -


About For Purpose Investment Partners (FPIP)

For Purpose Investment Partners is a not-for-profit social impact investment manager, created to pursue an important mission; bringing private sector capital and capabilities into sizeable businesses and projects to create significant social impact. Established in 2018 by pioneering impact investor Michael Traill AM, FPIP have grown to have $185m of funds under management.


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