Our journey

Maple-Brown Abbott has significantly evolved since our origins nearly 40 years ago across investment styles, asset classes, geographies and client types. Today we are a boutique of boutiques, focusing on active management of differentiated listed equity strategies. As one of the earliest Australian managers to sign up to the UN PRI, we have a long history of deep ESG integration which is core to each of our strategies.

We are privately owned with around 60 staff in Sydney with around A$9 billion in assets under management as at 31 December 2023.

Read about our people.

Where our journey began

Maple-Brown Abbott was established as an investment management firm in 1984 by Robert Maple-Brown and Chris Abbott. Starting with A$35 million under management and specialising in Australian equities, we pioneered value investing in the Australian market.

Since 1984, we have expanded to offer Asia Pacific equity and multi-asset strategies (across the specialist sectors of REITs, Australian fixed interest and Australian and international equities). In 2012, MBA co-founded the Maple-Brown Abbott Global Listed Infrastructure business with its Principals.

Today we are one of Australia’s leading privately owned investment management firms, we have a global footprint and internationally recognised strategies. We offer Australian managed investment schemes, UCITS (Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) funds in a variety of currencies and discrete mandates to clients around the world. Our clients include superannuation funds, financial institutions, endowments, charities, family offices, financial advisers, wholesale investors and retail investors.

Throughout our journey we have exhibited quiet innovation.

MBA’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy was formalised in 2008, one of the earliest for Australian-based boutiques, when the Board approved our first ESG policy and we became a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing. We have a long-standing commitment to integrating ESG factors into our investment process across each of our investment strategies.

We were also one of the earliest Australian fund managers that launched a UCITS fund range in Ireland, diversifying both our product offering and our client base.

MBA remains committed to a diverse and inclusive culture, and in particular supports the growth of female participation in the investment management industry. We launched our inaugural Summer Female Internship Program in 2018/2019 offering females in their penultimate year of business or finance studies an internship program working with each of our investment teams. The program has continued each summer and we continue to see excellent candidates for the internship.

Being a focused boutique investment manager remains an important driver of our culture, ensuring our interests are aligned with those of our clients. We strive to deliver the highest level of service to our clients and to always act with integrity and the highest ethical standards.

Robert Maple-Brown | Co-Founder, Maple-Brown Abbott

Robert Maple-Brown

Co-founder of Maple-Brown Abbott with Chris Abbott in 1984.

Robert was the son of a grazier and learnt about the different seasons and the unpredictable nature of farming, which helped him form an appreciation of the long-term, looking through shorter-term cycles.

In 1970 he joined Rothschild Australia after graduating from the University of NSW with a commerce degree. After managing money for 14 years he teamed up with Chris Abbott and started Maple-Brown Abbott employing a value-based investment philosophy that is still used today in the MBA Australian equities business.

Robert’s investment record is second to none in Australia, achieved through many market and economic cycles, distinguishing himself and the firm by being able to stand aside from the momentum and bravado in markets at times while retaining his value-based perspective. He set a standard of what can be achieved and was a role model to others who followed.

Robert received an Order of Australia Medal in 2010 for his services to the community through leadership and executive roles with a range of charitable organisations in the areas of arts, health, welfare, medical research, education and through philanthropy. He passed away in 2012. The Maple-Brown Family Foundation continues to support many charities. His values and the way he carried himself is his legacy to the firm and the funds management industry.

Christopher Abbott

Co-founder of Maple-Brown Abbott with Robert Maple-Brown in 1984.

Chris came to Australia in 1957 from the UK and has made an outstanding contribution to both the financial services and biotech industries. He was Executive Director of the International Pacific Group (Rothschilds), and he has also held non-executive directorships in QBE Insurance Group, Thomas Cook Australia and Enterprise Management of Australia.  He served as a Director of Maple-Brown Abbott from 1984 to 2006 and as Chairman from 1984 to 2000.

Mr Abbott now heads Asia Union Investments, a family company which has made significant investments in the Australian biotech industry. In 2005, he was awarded an Order of Australia for service to the financial industry particularly through venture capital projects and to the development of the biotechnology industry in Australia.

Chris’ strong belief is that a child is given life-long opportunities through exposure to education and intellectual stimulation at an early age. Through the Abbott Foundation, a private ancillary fund aimed at providing funding for organisations engaged in the development and education of young children, Chris has made a significant contribution to childhood education, funding Mission Australia to improve the facilities and family engagement at a number of pre-schools located in low socio-economic regions across Australia and supporting a wide range of other educational programs.

Chris Abbott | Co-founder Maple-Brown Abbott