Share via

Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, Equity Trustees today announced new leadership of its in-house asset management function following a review earlier this year.

Darren Thompson will take up the position of Head of Asset Management, and Chris Haynes the position of Head of Australian Equities, on 1 October 2018.  They will be based in Melbourne and bring decades of experience in managing large-scale portfolios and delivering excellent investment returns to clients.

“We’re delighted to announce these appointments following a deep analysis of how Equity Trustees can deliver the best outcomes for clients who entrust us with their funds, and rely on us for income from those funds,” said Mick O’Brien, Managing Director, Equity Trustees.

“Darren co-founded Northward Capital in 2007 after moving from IAG Asset Management. He brings to Equity Trustees 30 years’ experience and proven success in the evaluation, structuring and execution of investments, leveraging analytics and commercial insight to deliver excellent investment returns to clients.

“Chris brings over 25 years’ experience in investment and portfolio management. His proven track record of consistently over benchmark results as well as his people management and team building skills ensures a positive injection of talent to our business,” Mr O’Brien said.

The pair, who have worked together since 2013, will be responsible for the management and development of the Equity Trustees’ asset management business, responsible for $3.6 billion of FUM.  Funds are managed in a customised manner to deliver to trustee clients’ specific investment needs.

“As a contemporary trustee company we must constantly adapt to the changing needs of our clients and markets. We have built our success over 130 years, and these appointments reflect our commitment to continue to invest in our asset management capability for the benefit of our clients,” said Mr O’Brien.

“Equity Trustees has a long and distinguished history of focussing on client needs,” said Mr Thompson. “Chris and I are excited by the opportunity to build on these foundations and apply our expertise and performance-focus to provide bespoke investment solutions across a diverse range of client and beneficiary requirements.”

Mr O’Brien added: “Equity Trustees has been fortunate to have committed leadership in the asset management team as we went through the review period, resulting in maintenance of portfolio performance. It provides a solid foundation for the new leadership who will bring their unique energy and outlook to the asset management team.

“Darren and Chris bring outstanding capability and expertise to our team and I look forward to introducing them to our clients.”


Darren Thompson

Bachelor of Economics, Accounting (ANU)

Diploma of Financial Services, Financial Markets Australian Financial Markets Association

Diploma of Financial Planning, Kaplan

Darren is an entrepreneurial Investment Director & Portfolio Manager with 30 years’ experience. Committed to the development of robust investment methodologies, driving targeted investment return and business growth, Darren is a performance focussed Australian equities leader who has delivered more than 11% p.a. portfolio return over the past 14 years. He arrives at Equity Trustees with broad general management skills and a proven success leading strategy, finance, operations & people management activities.

Darren co-founded boutique investment firm Northward Capital in 2007, growing the business to a peak of ~$3billion FUM, and held the roles of CEO and CIO. Before Northward, Darren held roles at Insurance Australian Group (IAG) Limited (Co-Head of Equities), Deutsche Bank, and Burdett Buckeridge Young (BBY).

Chris Haynes

Bachelor of Commerce UNSW (Accounting, Finance and Systems)

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants

Diploma of Financial Planning

Chris brings over 25 years investment and portfolio experience. He has a proven track record of consistently above benchmark results for his Australian equities portfolio management as well as an impressive reputation for team building and staff motivation. This he established through a career working at Concord Capital Pty Ltd, Northward Capital Ltd, Lend Lease Pty Ltd, and Bankers Trust Australia Limited.

Chris jointly established and managed Concord Capital Pty Ltd from inception in 1999 through to its sale in 2010. During this time, Chris managed the growth of funds under management from $100m to over $6.5 billion, delivering consistent top quartile returns above benchmark. On its sale to Invesco Australia Ltd, Chris held the position of Head of Equities/Portfolio Manager managing the Australian Equities Portfolio.

Download the full Media Release here

Media inquiries:

Alicia Kokocinski
Senior Manager – Marketing & Communications
03 8623 5396 / 0403 172 024

Equity Trustees was established in 1888 for the purpose of providing independent and impartial Trustee and Executor services to help families throughout Australia protect their wealth. As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, we offer a diverse range of services to individuals, families and corporate clients including asset management, estate planning, philanthropic services and Responsible Entity (RE) services for external Fund Managers.

Equity Trustees is the brand name of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615) and its subsidiary companies, publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT) with offices in Melbourne, Bendigo, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and London.