Investor's Journey.
Merx Director, Andrew Dunning

Investing alongside investors – it’s a core principle of the Wholesale 1 PIE Trust. The experienced management team have ‘skin in the game’, and have the same risk and potential rewards as investor partners.

We talked with Merx’s managing director Andrew Dunning about his investment goals, learnings, and the principles that shaped the Wholesale 1 PIE Trust.

From schoolyard beginnings to banking

As Andrew recalls half-jokingly, his journey as an investor didn’t start in the corporate boardroom but in his schoolyard – lending lunch money to friends. “That was back when you could buy a pie for just $1.50. But now the interest rates are also a lot lower than then,” Andrew says. “Thinking about it, I guess even back then I enjoyed lending my resources to help others get into PIEs – just different kind of pies.”

Fast forward to 2002, Andrew’s career began in banking right after university with ANZ. “The first significant job I had was managing a lending book, which is where I honed my passion for lending, risk management, and client assessment,” Andrew says. In the subsequent 10-plus years, Andrew covered different relationship banking roles before becoming regional director of Property Finance, and then senior manager Commercial & Agri Banking. He likes to refer to his decade at ANZ as his ‘apprenticeship’ in commerce, relationship management, and of course, lending.

The epiphany that changed everything

It was while working at ANZ, about 10 years ago, that Andrew had an epiphany – the ‘aha moment’ that really kickstarted his path as an investor. At the time, with a young family to raise, he realised that with thoughtful planning he could transition from a salary-dependent life to a self-sufficient existence, funded by investment income. He just needed to find the right way.

“I explored different avenues, from buying existing businesses to venturing into property,” Andrew says. “Ultimately, I couldn’t find good investment opportunities – something that provided a decent return without imposing excessive risks or a major concentration of risk in just one investment.”

So, proactivity turned out to be crucial: if he couldn’t find the opportunities, he would create them himself. He decided to start lending his personal funds to a range of business owners and property investors and developers, which delivered the yield that he and his family were seeking. That’s how Merx was born: “It took us a long time to get here, but it was kind of driven by this motivation to try and create income for life,” Andrew says.

And there was more than his own family’s financial independence on the radar. Once Merx was well-established, Andrew set out to open up these wholesale investment opportunities to a broader pool of like-minded wholesale investors. In mid-2022, this led to the launch of the Wholesale 1 PIE Trust.

The principles behind the Trust

“With the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust, we are bringing it all together to build the fund we want to invest in when we get older,” Andrew says. And the principles that Andrew and the management team have learned along the way are reflected in how the Wholesale 1 PIE Trust has been structured.

Alignment of interests differentiates the Trust from other wholesale investment opportunities: it’s a proposition built from years of personal experience and thoughtful planning. “We envisioned this fund as a platform that allows our investor partners to invest alongside us, in the same types of loans that we invest in ourselves, to create the potential for good returns and yield in everyone’s portfolios.”

The other key principle is minimising risk concentration through diversification. Diversifying investments across multiple loans to multiple businesses, in a wide range of industries means mitigating the potential risk of a single loan not delivering. “The reality is, you can never eliminate risk. You just want to limit your risks and manage them well, and we do so by incorporating robust security measures,” Andrew says. “At least 50% of our portfolio must be secured by first mortgages, with our current exposures being more than 70% first mortgage security. Plus, we ensure second-mortgage securities don’t exceed 40% of the total portfolio.”

And last but not least, long-term planning. Looking back, Andrew’s whole investment journey has been a tale of balancing risk and rewards, keeping long-term planning always top of mind. He learned this lesson from a mentor early in his career: the importance of having an overall plan and using it as a compass. Patience, Andrew points out, is the key. “At the end of the day, we want to be happy, patient investors who stick to the plan and grow together over the longer term.” 

Like to become part of this journey?

The Wholesale 1 PIE Trust is a reflection of the management team’s own journey and personal commitment. If you’d like to become part of this journey, click here to learn more and give us a call on 09 215 9364 to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Note: This article is intended to provide general information and does not constitute financial advice. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser for advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Potential investors with Merx must qualify as Wholesale Investors as that term is defined in sections 3(2)(a) – (c) or 3(3)(a) of Schedule 1 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act (“FMCA”). The Trust is not suitable for retail investors.

30.99

%

Returns Since Inception

Returns based on an actual company investor account with net returns re-invested monthly. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022.

Why Invest with Merx

About the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust: Structure, principles: management and more

Comments from Merx Investors

I have enjoyed investing with Merx and learnt a lot through the process too. Merx have been very transparent with what they do and the communication has been consistent. Wouldn’t be a testimonial without mentioning the returns too, thanks for those. Looking forward to being a part of the journey for years to come.

Luke

There's a lot to be said for a fund where the managers invest alongside their investors. It's a real partnership where the interests of investors are prioritised. The returns to date have been great, the unit structure gives me the flexibility I want, and I've been really impressed with the communication.

Aaron

I've been impressed by how Merx looks after their investors - from how the fund is structured for redemption, reinvestment, and tax efficiency - to the communication and care in understanding my investment goals. It makes a difference - investing alongside managers who are also invested in the fund.

John

Aligned Interests

Aligned interests is a core principle of the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Fund. As the Trust’s management team, we personally invest alongside our investor partners. We have the same risks and potential returns as our investors.

The role of economic cycles in investing

Building an investment portfolio for the long term

Why diversification matters for investors

Get the detail – fund description, management, fees, risks and more. Request the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Investor Brochure here.
Request the Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Investor Application form here. Note: the fund is not suitable for retail investors.

Merx Wholesale 1 PIE Trust Returns

Year 1 actual net return (on company investor portfolio reinvesting)

20.13%

 

Average monthly distribution (annualized)

17.50%

 

Returns since inception

30.99%

Returns based on an actual company investor account with net returns re-invested monthly. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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*Returns are net actual returns distributed to investors (annualized) – net of all fees and costs before tax. The fund was established 30 June 2022 and made its first investments in September 2022. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

Investor Brochure

Important information for investors

Investment in the Trust is open only to wholesale investors as set out in schedule 1, clauses 3(2)(a)-(c) and 3(3)(a) (inclusive), or persons who are otherwise not required to receive disclosure under Part 3, of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (“FMCA”).

Investor Application

Important information for investors

Investment in the Trust is open only to wholesale investors as set out in schedule 1, clauses 3(2)(a)-(c) and 3(3)(a) (inclusive), or persons who are otherwise not required to receive disclosure under Part 3, of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (“FMCA”).