Blue Sky in the News

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Alternatives offer new opportunities

Financial Observer - Blue Sky Managing Director, Rob Shand said average portfolio allocations to alternatives in Australia had risen from 5 per cent to 20 per cent over the past two decades, a growth that could be attributed to retail investors discovering the benefits of the asset class. “Institutional investors have always had access to alternatives, but what we’ve seen over the last few years is the recognition that if the best of the best are allocating 20 per cent of their portfolios to alternatives, maybe that’s something that a high net worth individual or family office should also do.”

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Shoes of Prey: Change afoot in the business of women’s footwear

The Australian - Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox has shooed off critics, declaring her business is well on track as she outlined aggressive plans to revolutionise women’s fashion. The entrepreneur, who now spends most of her time in Los Angeles running the online shoe design business she started in 2009, insisted claims that the firm was burning through cash too quickly were not an accurate picture.

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Looking at the alternative side of things

Money Management - Blue Sky's Chief Investment Officer, Alex McNab, said high performance of alternatives had been forecast for 2017. "We are at a moment in time when traditional asset classes have an unattractive medium-term return outlook and unusually high levels of risk."

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Blue Sky reports 130 per cent profit growth and $2.7 billion in AUM

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) today announced its results for the half year ending 31 December 2016, reporting a significant rise in revenue, profitability, cash flow and fee-earning assets under management.

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Collective Hub - Money Master

Stem cell biologist turned venture capitalist Elaine Stead has parlayed her passion for science into helping others grow multi-million dollar enterprises. As managing director of Blue Sky Venture Capital, Elaine is at the forefront of venture capital in Australia. She’s currently fundraising AU$200 million to invest in the Next Big Thing.

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Sipping from $30b water pool

Courier Mail - Investors and farmers gain from a liquid asset. Kim Morison grew up on a West Australian wheat farm where regular droughts meant every drop of water was precious. Now the Blue Sky executive controls enough water to fill a large part of Sydney Harbour as head of the investment firm’s water trading division.

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CFSGAM taps into water assets

The Australian - Colonial First State Global Asset Management has bought its first Australian water asset, picking up Water Utilities Australia from listed investment manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments for an undisclosed price and ahead of a significant expansion. CFSGAM plans to hold the business, which services winegrowers in the McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide, in its global diversified infrastructure fund.

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Blue Sky eyes its next Aura village

Australian Financial Review - Aura Australia, a joint venture between former RetireAustralia executives and Blue Sky Alternative Investments, is planning a $67 million retirement village at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. On almost one hectare, acquired for $6 million, the joint venture will develop a vertical retirement village of about four storeys.

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Queensland organic grain miller gets $12m cash injection

Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) has congratulated Kialla Pure Foods on successfully attracting $12.3 million worth of investment to help grow its organic grain and flour processing business.

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How funds are making the most of water market chaos

Australian Financial Review - Record rainfall and growing concern over the politics of the Murray Darling Basin have not been enough to dent the values and demand for water entitlements in Australia's booming farming regions such as the Murrumbidgee. With parts of NSW receiving up to 400 per cent of their average annual rainfall during winter, some prices for water allocations have reduced but a trend towards planting crops and orchards such as almonds, which require higher-security water, is keeping some tension around pricing.

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Blue Sky Cracks Student Housing in US

Business News Australia - Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA) continues to up the ante in the student accommodation market, this time in the US.The Brisbane-based fund manager has formed a joint venture with Student Quarters, an independent student housing investment manager with approximately 5000 beds under management.

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Blue Sky builds new student digs

Australian Financial Review - Blue Sky Private Real Estate and its joint venture partner Goldman Sachs have begun construction on two new student accommodation facilities in Melbourne and Adelaide, taking its portfolio pipeline past 3300 beds.

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Podcast: Morgans 40 under 40 series

Morgans’ Adviser Chris Titley recently interviewed Blue Sky’s new Managing Director, Robert Shand. In the interview, Robert discusses the history of Blue Sky, his own background, why he joined the company and his future plans for the business. He also discusses work/life balance, people and culture, and shares some insights into his management techniques and philosophies.

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How to fund your startup dream

Entrepreneur is no longer code for 'unemployed'. More people than ever are opting out of traditional employment to start their own business and technology is making it easier than ever to reach a global audience. So how can you find investment to turn our innovative ideas into global businesses?​​ Elaine Stead, head of Blue Sky Venture Capital, shares the six keys for success.

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The coolest 100 people in Australian tech

The past 12 months have proved to be a coming of age for Australian tech. Innovation and technology have shifted to the heart of the economic policy agenda, and there is a clear recognition among policymakers and investors that Australia needs a strong technology ecosystem to compete in the modern global economy.

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Chloe McCardel completes 19th English Channel swim

Congratulations to Chloe McCardel who has just completed her 19th English Channel swim. We are proud to support an incredible Australian rewriting the record books.

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Blue Sky for Aura in $130m Brisbane retirement deal

Australian Financial Review - Retirement operator Aura Australia Management has paid more than $20 million for its first development site in Brisbane's south-west suburb of Corinda, where a $130 million retirement village will be built Aura is half owned by listed asset manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments and founded by Tim Russell, who was formerly chief executive of Retire Australia, Australia's largest independent retirement village operator before its sale.

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Queensland women lending a hand to help others succeed

Blue Sky’s Elaine Stead nominated for Telstra award - The 2016 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards finalists demonstrate the unique combination of skills required for professional excellence: the courage to take risks, sound financial management, strong leadership skills and of course, sophisticated business acumen allowing them to thrive.

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Blue Sky offers local investors a route into Manhattan

The listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments is taking a stake in another New York commercial property, with the aim of providing exposure to alternate asset classes for Australian investors. Cove Property Group, in which Blue Sky has a 38 per cent stake, is buying - with institutional equity backing - a building on Manhattan's west side at a price of more than $400 million.

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Hatchtech proves golden egg for venture capital’s economical and social impact

Last night at the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) awards, Hatchtech’s $279 million commercial agreement with Indian-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories was applauded as the Best Early Stage transaction. The Melbourne-based specialty pharmaceutical company was Blue Sky Venture Capital’s first investment in its 2012 vintage fund, at a time when VC was virtually non-existent in Australia.

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Future Fund moves into unlisted assets

Australian Financial Review - The Future Fund is shifting more of its $123 billion portfolio into private investments as ultra low interest rates reduce returns and raise risks in public equity and bond markets. On Tuesday, Australia's sovereign wealth fund announced a strong 4.6 per cent quarterly performance to increase its assets to $123 billion, which managing director David Neal said was boosted by successful investments in non-listed businesses.

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Q&A with Blue Sky's departing MD and founder Mark Sowerby

Blue Sky's founder and managing director, Mark Sowerby, says it will be "easy" to hand over the reins to his successor, Rob Shand, as he prepares to "retire" from his role at the end of this month. In a Q&A with Industry Moves he says that while there is nothing better in his working life than Blue Sky, he's ready to move from the front and centre and into a support role for his wife and sons.

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Aussie hedge fund gets international nod

"I’ve been running Blue Sky’s hedge fund business for about 18 months now. I inherited a great team with eight-year track records across three strategies. In fact, BarclayHedge has just ranked our Dynamic Macro fund as one of the top 20 performing CTAs in the world over the last five years."

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments founder Mark Sowerby named Qld's first chief entrepreneur

Australian Financial Review - Queensland has become the first Australian state to appoint a chief entrepreneur, backing Blue Sky Alternative Investments founder Mark Sowerby to lift its flagging performance in commercialising ideas. Sowerby, who announced his retirement from Blue Sky on Friday after 10 years in which he built the business into an ASX300 company with $2.1 billion under management, said connecting more investors with Queensland start-up and 'scale-up' businesses was his focus.

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Blue Sky founder appointed as Queensland's inaugural Chief Entrepreneur

One of the state’s most successful proponents of alternative investment strategies has accepted the post of Queensland’s first Chief Entrepreneur. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the appointment of Mark Sowerby, founder of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd, to the Advance Queensland role.

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Blue Sky founder out on a high with record profit

The Weekend Australian - Alternative investment pioneer Mark Sowerby is stepping down from the Blue Sky Alternative In­vestments business he founded in 2006 to focus on his family and charitable works after the com­pany posted a record net profit of $10.5 million. Robert Shand, a former Bain & Co consultant who joined the business in 2010 and has been chief operating officer since 2013, will take over from September 30.

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Blue Sky Announces New Managing Director

Effective from 30 September 2016, our founder and Managing Director Mark Sowerby will retire from Blue Sky and our Chief Operating Officer, Rob Shand, will be appointed as Managing Director.

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Blue Sky reports 57 per cent profit growth and $2.1 billion in Assets Under Management

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) today announced its results for the year ending 30 June 2016, reporting an underlying Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $16.3 million (up 57 per cent from $10.4 million in FY15) and a 44 per cent increase in revenue to $63.0 million (up from $43.6 million).

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Pharmacist HPS eyes ASX listing

HPS, which runs 50 on-site pharmacies for hospitals operated by Healthscope and St Vincent's private hospitals, is eyeing an ASX listing as profits climb through automation, new contract wins and benefits from previous capital investment. Private equity firms hold 76 per cent of HPS, with Blue Sky Private Equity and the $80 billion Swiss firm Partners Group buying in last year.

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Vinomofo toasts its grapes success

An online wine retailer that has turned wine selling on its head has taken out the Telstra Victorian Business of the Year Award.

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Blue Sky backs $13.6m Asian e-commerce firm

Blue Sky Venture Capital, one of Australia's largest tech start-up funds, has made its first investment in the southeast Asian market as it bids to tap into the take-up of e-commerce across the region in a $13.6 million funding round for Thailand-based aCommerce. The start-up is an ambitious regional play, acting as both an online platform and logistics partner to help brands, including L'Oreal, Adidas and Nestle, set up an online retail presence in countries across the area.

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Start me up, don’t tie me down

When young entrepreneurs go to venture capitalists like Elaine Stead to fund their dreams, they have made a choice that will shape the course of their lives. “If they have a belief in their business idea, they’re happy to make that choice,” says Stead of Blue Sky Funds. Over the past decade, Blue Sky has funded 2500 entrepreneurs into the new economy through businesses in technology, food and agriculture, healthcare, education, retail and even a dunny business.

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Milk & Co - front cover of The Deal magazine

“I was naïve about the effort required and the relentless nature of running a business” Michael Klim thought he had his new career figured out. But the Olympian turned managing director of Milk & Co found it was not so easy.

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Telstra snaps up tech developer Readify

Australian Financial Review - Telstra has acquired Melbourne-based developer, IT consultancy and Microsoft partner Readify to add to its growing portfolio of network enterprise, security and services business. The purchase is the second Microsoft partner that Telstra has bought this year, with the telecommunications giant understood to have paid $40 million for cloud migration services business Kloud in January.

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Podcast: Morgans Executive Series

Morgans Adviser, Chris Titley interviewed Mark Sowerby yesterday in the latest episode of the Morgans Executive Series. The interview provides an insight into the history and growth of Blue Sky and highlights the guiding principles of the business.

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Queensland start ups: How to spot the next big thing

In business, much like in fairy tales, unicorns are rare, mythical creatures. The unicorn is the illusive fantasy of tech start-ups and investors searching for the next billion-dollar idea. Yet less than 0.1 per cent of start-ups will ever see their companies transform into these rare beasts. Elaine Stead is one such visionary. As Blue Sky Venture Capital director, Stead has been instrumental in the success of some of the coolest early stage businesses, including custom shoemaking website Shoes of Prey, which is among only a handful of Australian brands stocked in US retail giant Nordstrom, and e-commerce website Vinomofo, which aims to take the pretension out of fine wine.

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Blue Sky raises $45 million in first stage of capital raising

Friday 13 May 2016 - Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) has successfully raised approximately $45.1 million through a placement and the accelerated component of a one for ten entitlement offer to professional and sophisticated investors. This first stage of Blue Sky’s capital raising was heavily over-subscribed. All eligible shareholders will now be able to participate in the second stage of the capital raising, a one for ten non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise a further $21.7 million.

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Distribution deal lifts Klim's China prospects

The Australian - The skincare product company owned by former Olympic swimmer Michael Klim has followed the lead of vitamins giants Blackmores, Swisse and Nature's Care by signing a distribution deal with the category killer of the pharmacy sector, Chemist Warehouse. The deal is expected to increase sales of Mr Klim’s Milk & Co products by 50 per cent over the next 12 months, helping the brand’s expansion into China. Export sales now represent about 25 per cent of revenue.

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Blue Sky embarks on $67 million capital raise

Wednesday 11 May 2016 -­ Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) has this morning announced its intention to raise up to $67 million through a one for 10 entitlement offer to existing shareholders and a placement to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors. Shares will be issued under both the placement and the entitlement offer at $6.50, representing a nine per cent discount to the closing price of $7.16 on Tuesday 10 May 2016.

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Organic processor’s $12m fund link-up

The Australian - Innovative Toowoomba organic grain and flour processor Kialla Pure Foods has been part-sold to a private fund owned by listed Australian investment company Blue Sky Alternative Investments. The Blue Sky Agricultural Fund 3 bought 30 per cent of family-owned Kialla Foods, started from scratch by Quentin and Michelle Kennedy in 2005.

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Readify turns rejected ideas into million-dollar products

Australian Financial Review - Australian digital consultancy Readify has created a new business that it says will turn ideas used in old client projects into new revenue streams. The new operation will be known as the IP Factory, as it will develop the company's used and previously discarded intellectual property into new products and services.

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Prime Minister Turnbull has announced the inaugural Tech Pioneers Report

Prime Minister Turnbull has announced the inaugural 'Tech Pioneers Report', which showcases the most exciting and pioneering startups from Australia and New Zealand. These are the companies at the leading edge of the 'ideas boom' and the drivers of the economy of the future and includes two companies within Blue Sky's Venture Capital Portfolio; Shoes of Prey and Vinomofo. This is a wonderful recognition of the impact these two companies are making on both an Australian and global scale.

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Blue Sky's Assets Under Management Exceed $2 billion

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (Blue Sky) is pleased to announce that its fee earning assets under management (AUM) now exceed $2 billion. Our growth in AUM has come from a combination of domestic and offshore institutions, family offices and other wholesale investors as well as continued support from our existing investor network. Reaching $2 billion in AUM represents an important milestone for our business and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support.

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Boost for start-ups as VC funds aim to triple money

Australian Financial Review - Australian venture capital funds are targeting triple their record 2015 fundraising, with $900 million in new funds announced since August Two funds, Blackbird Ventures and Uniseed, have already raised $300 million. Another three - Square Peg, G08 University Fund and Blue Sky are now raising another $600 million between them. In the year to June 2015, VC funds raised $368 million. This was already a record amount, according to the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

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Forecast ahead clear for Blue Sky

Courier Mail - Brisbane-based Blue Sky Alternative Investments is fast becoming a major global player, reaping high returns with the addition of quality holdings to its portfolio, writes Anthony Marx. It Seems hardly a week goes by when Blue Sky Alternative Investments doesn't unveil a stake in a new venture. Just last week the Brisbane-based group announced that its real estate arm, in a joint venture with Goldman Sachs, had bought a majority stake in The PAD, a student accommodation provider.

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Vinomofo Gets $25 Million To Grow The Tribe Of Wine Lovers

Forbes - The Australian venture capital and startup world is heating up. Forever there was a gaping hole for startups trying to raise a solid round, even over $5 million. But now a raft of homegrown funds has been able to attract large backers to plug that hole. Encouragingly, Superfunds are investing into venture capital now too. It’s rare to hear of an Australian startup raising a whole round in the tens of millions within Australia. But online wine deal company, Vinomofo has done it. It raised AUD$25 million from Blue Sky Venture Capital to bolster rapid domestic growth and help expand internationally.

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Overseas backers help Scape add student digs

The Australian - Scape Student Living is negotiating with two overseas pension funds as it moves to secure financing for a significant expansion across the eastern states. It comes as the student accommodation developer and operator, already backed by Dutch pension fund APG and Chinese giant ICBC International, secures an eighth site - snapping up a parcel on Abercrombie Street in Sydney near the University of Sydney.

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Brisbane developer designs Australia’s first residential suspended pool

Domain - A rooftop pool may seem like a must nowadays, but one Australian developer is taking it to another level. A sky-high pool that will have swimmers floating between apartment towers is on the edge of becoming a reality for Brisbane, with a new development set to host the country’s first residential suspended pool. The 25-metre pool will effectively bridge the gap between two eight-storey apartment towers, allowing residents to swim between buildings.

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The Rise And Rise Of Vinomofo

Australia's Wine Business Magazine - In February 2011 a motley group of wine writers who had every character in Zootopia covered went on a mini-bus tour of the Riverland. The tour manager was Ashley Ratcliff. He had buried his dad the day before but wasn’t going to miss a landmark event for a region in need of a hug.

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Blue Sky and Goldman tie up The PAD student accommodation

Australian Financial Review - Goldman Sachs and its new student accommodation joint venture partner, Blue Sky Private Real Estate, have purchased a multimillion-dollar majority stake in Australian student accommodation provider The PAD. The majority share was bought from Telopea Capital executives Stephen Gaitanos and Craig Carracher. Telopea is a major backer of British student accommodation provider Scape.

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Blue Sky Venture Capital invests in plus-size fashion pioneer ELOQUII

The Blue Sky Venture Capital team are pleased to announce that the Blue Sky VC2014 Fund LP has closed a AUD$2.8 million investment in ELOQUII, a New York based leader in plus size women’s fast-fashion clothing.

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Vinomofo secures $25m from Blue Sky

Online wine seller Vinomofo has received a record-breaking tech start-up funding round, securing a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital to help it accelerate its growth plans. Blue Sky is the sole investor in the funding round, which is the largest raised by a local tech start-up without the assistance of US or other overseas investors.

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Boot's on the other foot for Nairn

The Australian - Exclusive appointments Former David Jones chief executive Iain Nairn will make good use of his retail connections after being named the new chairman of men's fashion brand Aquila (a Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio company), which is currently seeking up to $30 million from new investors to fuel a store rollout and growth strategy.

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Shoes online: Queensland disrupter Shoes of Prey enters retail market

The Courier Mail - IT seems like an unattainable concept; the perfect shoe. Women everywhere stamp the pavement and stalk store after store in pursuit of a product that matches the fantasy in their head. But three entrepreneurs from Queensland at the helm of global retail disrupter Shoes of Prey (a Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company) have found a way to snag a slice of that lucrative market (worth $3 billion in Australia alone) by fulfilling shoppers’ desire to design their perfect shoe.

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Liquid Assets

Australian Financial Review - Alternatives Water may be the defensive asset your portfolio needs, writes Adam Courtenay. As the Hollywood movie The Big Short ends, we are told that Michael Burry, the man who shorted the sub-prime mortgage market, is now going long on H20. Burry is investing not so much in water rights, but in "productive agricultural land with water on site", which he predicts will be valuable in the future.

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Female start-up community gaining in speed and scale

In the tech world two principles are prized over any others — speed and scale. On those criteria, Australia’s female start-up scene is looking very promising indeed. A new networking community started by two young guns, Genevieve George and Jane Lu, has been a runaway success, growing from a few friends in late 2015 to 3000 members in a few months.

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$1 billion deal means new accommodation for Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide students

Domain - Thousands of tertiary students will get new custom digs thanks to a $1 billion deal announced this week. Australian company Blue Sky Private Real Estate and global investment giant Goldman Sachs entered a joint venture to fund up to 10,000 purpose built beds for university students across Australia and New Zealand by 2019.

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Student housing finds its cool

The Australian - Student accommodation, a real estate asset class long on the periphery for local institutional investors, has hit the big time following a series of deals by heavyweight Australian players. Banking giant Goldman Sachs yesterday agreed to terms with listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments for what will eventually become a $1 billion student housing portfolio with assets across a number of Australia's capital cities.

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Blue Sky and Goldman Sachs target $1 billion in student accommodation joint venture

Blue Sky Private Real Estate (a subsidiary of ASX listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited) today announced it will form a $1 billion student accommodation joint venture with leading global investment firm Goldman Sachs.  The parties aim to build a portfolio of 5,000 to 10,000 purpose built student accommodation beds across Australia and New Zealand over the next few years, in a sector which has been heavily undersupplied relative to other global student markets including the US and UK.

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Blue Sky (ASX:BLA) will be admitted to the ASX 300 index

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX:BLA) has today been advised that it will be admitted to the ASX 300 index on Friday, 18 March 2016. This small milestone would not have been possible without the support of our many Blue Sky friends across the (almost) 10 years of our existence. There’s always a lot more to do, but it’s important to celebrate achievements like this along the way and recognise those that have helped get us there.

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New York Update: Cove Property Group

A joint venture investment vehicle including Cove Property Group (‘Cove’) has signed an agreement to acquire an office tower located in Manhattan. The transaction value exceeds A$280 million and is expected to settle within the next two months, with the majority of the equity provided by a North American based institutional investor. Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (‘Blue Sky’) holds a 38% economic interest in Cove Property Group.

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Blue Sky Private Equity Announcement

We are pleased to announce that Alcidion Group Limited (ASX:ALC), a Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio company, commenced trading on the ASX today. This is a significant milestone for the business, providing it with immediate capital to accelerate growth opportunities as well as providing ongoing access to capital and liquidity for shareholders.

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Australian Health Tech Business Lists on ASX, Sets Sights on Obamacare

Leading Australian health informatics company Alcidion, which is backed by Blue Sky Private Equity and Allure Capital, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange today ASX:ALC. The listing gave Alcidion an initial market capitalisation of $33.76 million. The capital injection will help Alcidion expand in Australia, particularly in the private sector. The business is also well positioned to grow into the US as the country starts to mandate clinical decision support technology to overcome the poor results achieved from the rolling out Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to hospitals. The clinical decision support systems market is set to be worth $USD4.65 billion globally by 2018.

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Stars Shine at the Inaugural All Star Bash

Shoes of Prey, a Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company takes out the Top Innovator Award last night at The Power Retail All Star Bash. The Inaugural All Star Bash is a new annual event that coincides with the launch of the E-Commerce Leaders’ Playbook. With up to 500 all star e-commerce leaders descending on Melbourne from across Australia, this event was not to be missed for serious digital retail professionals.

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Australia VC: Policy power

Asian Venture Capital Journal - The innovation agenda is still under consultation and is expected to come into effect from July. Investors are currently holding back, wary of changes post-consultation, but the government insists that "this is not a one-off statement." Indeed, it has indicated a willingness to modify policies over time if existing approaches are not delivering the desired outcome. Some see this as a means of encouraging large institutional investors to participate in venture capital. With this in mind, Blue Sky Venture Capital and Square Peg Capital both recently launched A$200 million funds aimed at LPs that write bigger checks.

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How to Readify students for work

The Australian - Readify, a Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio company is ready to do its bit for the cause when it comes to tackling the skills shortage in the IT sector: the Melbourne-based software developer has launched a new two-year graduate program. The software maker's managing director Graeme Strange told The Australian that while Australian companies could always look to foreign shores to plug the gap, it was time for local companies to get involved and stimulate the domestic talent pool.

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Volatile markets drive earnings for Blue Sky

The Australian - Blue Sky Alternative Investments expects to increase full year net profit by as much as 53 per cent and is confident of hitting a target of $2 billion in funds under management by the end of June. The listed diversified investment manager lifted interim net profit by 69 per cent to $4.4m due to sharply higher performance fees paid by its suite of listed and unlisted funds.

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Assets under management reach $1.7 billion

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited’s (Blue Sky) fee earning assets under management (AUM) as at 31 December 2015 were $1.70 billion. Blue Sky has continued to benefit from long term structural tailwinds that have led to increasing allocations to alternative assets, both globally and in Australia. The continuation of this trend to alternative assets and the significant growth in our AUM to the end of 31 December 2015 has encouraged us to bring forward our AUM guidance. We now expect to exceed $2.0 billion in AUM by 30 June 2016, eighteen months ahead of our original target.

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments 1H FY16 Results Presentation

To view the Blue Sky Alternative Investments results presentation for the half year ending 31 December 2015 that was released to the ASX today click on 'more'.

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Investor shift to alternatives drives Blue Sky growth

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) today announced its results for the half year ending 31 December 2015, reporting an underlying Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $4.4 million (up 69 per cent from $2.6 million for the first half of FY15) and a 44 per cent increase in revenue to $23.8 million (up from $16.5 million).

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The state of play for Australian VC in 2016: “We’ve gone from scorched earth to green shoots”

Startup Smart - With four $200 million funds and a pipeline of new startup success stories, 2016 is set to be a flagship year for the Australian venture capital market, Blackbird Ventures co-founder Niki Scevak says.

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Australian Venture Capital Vs Israel Venture Capital

Dr Elaine Stead, Investment Director of Blue Sky Venture Capital talks with Capital Pitch CEO Jeremy Liddle and the expert panel about what's happening in Australian Venture Capital right now and some of the differences between Australia and Israel.

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Taking the alternative route

Money Management - With equities, bonds, and cash going through a rough patch due to market volatility and a low interest rate environment, Jassmyn Goh finds out whether investors are dipping their toes back into alternative investments. The markets saw bouts of volatility in 2015, and although industry experts do not expect a repeat of the volatility levels seen during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), they still expect frequent small market movements of a few per cent this year, rather than large one day falls.

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Shoes of Prey is right at home in the US

Australian Financial Review - Jodie Fox, the co-founder of Australian start up Shoes of Prey (a Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company), says the United States is the right fit for her company's global expansion plans but it is not about to embark on an Atlassian-style initial public offer. She says the online fashion retailer, which is expanding rapidly in the United States and now has its sights set on Europe, still has some "growing up" to do.

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Read's Mexican standoff bowls them over

The Weekend Australian - It's known as the Pistonhead x Burrito Bowl. And it is the pride and joy of Blake Read. "As far as I know this is the first time it has been done in the world," Read says of the giant indoor skateboarding pool that adorns the ground floor of his Beach Burrito Mexican restaurant in the heart of Melbourne's trendy Fitzroy. The Fitzroy venue, Beach Burrito outlet No 12 when it opened last year and its first in Melbourne after a long planning battle with the local council, so far represents the crowning achievement for a business that now turns over $20 million annually and is backed by the Brisbane-based $1.35 billion Blue Sky private equity group.

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The Australian startup community predicts what’s to come in 2016

Confidence and hope is high among the Australian startup community, and according to many of the major players, 2016 will be a flagship year for the sector. On the back of the government’s $1 billion innovation statement, four new $200 million VC funds and the innovation ecosystem placed in the national spotlight, the community has a lot of momentum that will be consolidated and built on this year, startup speaker and advisor Anne-Marie Elias says.

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Views from The Duke will be pitch-perfect

The Sunday Mail, Brisbane - Unless a roof is built over the Gabba, residents of The Duke (a Blue Sky Private Real Estate Development) are all but guaranteed a lifetime of free access to events held at the stadium.

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New technology to sell Queensland apartments

Channel 7 News Segment: In a Queensland first, Blue Sky Private Real Estate is using cutting edge 3-D technology to help sell apartments. Virtual reality goggles similar to ones used in video games are now being used to let potential buyers inspect an apartment before it's built. Mylee Hogan reports.

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Amazon adds more than 1000 Australian pickup locations with ParcelPoint

Rather than waiting around for unreliable couriers in the lead up to Christmas, you can have your Amazon parcels delivered to a nearby business and pick them up when it suits you. When I quit my office job I didn't realise that the thing I would miss the most is the mailroom. You tend to take the mailroom for granted until you work from home and it becomes your job to stand by the front door and wait for unreliable and sometimes dishonest couriers. Delivery companies will happily lie to you about the status of your parcel rather than concede that they've dropped the ball.

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How a Harvard professor helped build a $1.35 billion business

Those looking for inspiration for greater co-operation between business and academics need look no further than fast-growing funds management group Blue Sky Alternative Investments. With $1.35 billion under management Blue Sky is arguably the most successful diversified alternative asset manager in Australia. But what is amazing about this Brisbane-based company is that it all started with a conversation between a professor and a student at Harvard Business School.

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$200 million tech fund launched

Blue Sky Venture Capital is trying to raise $200 million to fund expanding technology firms and keep more successful local companies at home for longer. The fund will be the third, and by far the largest for Blue Sky, which is basing the fund around institutional investors, including an increasing interest from superannuation funds in backing tech-related ventures. Rather than seeking to back very early stage startups with seed funding, Blue Sky will back companies that have begun to establish themselves and are looking to start expanding or attacking new markets, usually with funding rounds ranging from $10 to $30 million.

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Nordstrom backs Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey, the start-up that pioneered on-demand customised fashion footwear globally, today announced a US$15.5 million Series B capital raising and a deepened partnership with specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom. Shoes of Prey’s largest funding round to date was led by Blue Sky Venture Capital. Greycroft and Nordstrom also came on board as new equity partners. Khosla Ventures, which led Shoes of Prey’s US$5.5 million Series A-2 round in 2014, also increased its investment. This brings the company’s total combined funding to US$24.6 million.

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Time for action on innovation

Chanticleer has one simple request for the four ministers behind Monday's much anticipated innovation statement: please do not announce any more reviews, white papers, informal market soundings or parliamentary inquiries. The time for talking has come to end. Action is needed now, even if it means getting it wrong as appears to have happened with the crowd-sourced equity funding legislation released on Thursday. Your rooster was reminded of Australia's propensity to put rhetoric ahead of action during an interview with Harvard professor Josh Lerner, who was in Australia to speak at the Blue Sky Alternative Investments conference in Brisbane. Lerner, who has advised some of the world's biggest venture capital companies on industry trends and structures, was called in by the Howard government in 2005 to provide a global perspective for a review of venture capital headed by Ian Watson.

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Social infrastructure sector yields results

Investors are increasingly turning their attention to the real estate social infrastructure sector — that is, ­investments reflecting broader trends in society that, in turn, ­influence the types of buildings and infrastructure we need as a nation.

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Alcidion Corporation to list on ASX in $20m Transaction with Naracoota Resources

Alcidion Corporation, a leading health informatics company based in Adelaide has entered into a binding agreement with Naracoota Resources Ltd (ASX:NRR) to list Alcidion on the ASX via a Reverse Takeover (Transaction). The Transaction will see Alcidion valued at $12m with a healthy $7.00m in cash post listing.

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Alcidion wins a 2015 Impact Award

Alcidion Corporation, a leading health informatics company based in Adelaide has won an award at the 2015 Impact Awards. Celebrated at the Adelaide Convention Centre with 350 guests on Tuesday November 10, Alcidion was one of three winners of the 2015 awards. The Impact Awards recognise South Australian companies who are true ‘gazelles’ of the economy, with a business, model, management and solution which are world class.

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Founder and Managing Director Mark Sowerby presents at the CEO sessions in Brisbane

Mr Sowerby outlined the company’s key strategic achievements, such as publicly listing in 2012. The move enhanced transparency for investors and created the opportunity to form a ‘public’ track record.

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Blue Sky Investor Day 2015 Registration

Thank you to all of our Blue Sky supporters that have registered for our Investor Day on Thursday, 3 December 2015. If you would like further information regarding this event, please click here.

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Blue Sky’s liquid alternative

It seems each month the LIC space becomes more congested. Right now the flavour of the month is small cap investors with a number just listing and a few more in the pipeline. As the LIC market place gets more crowded it will be those who offer something different and give investors access to something previously inaccessible that will stand out. Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund Limited (BAF) is doing just that.

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Are Australia and Israel destined to be best mates in high-tech?

By any measure, Australia is one of the most successful countries in the world. It ranks seventh in personal freedom and well-being (Israel ranks 38th), 11th in perceptions of corruption (Israel is 37th), and is considered the tenth richest country globally.

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Liquid return for Australia’s mini - Blackstone

You might think Mark Sowerby, founder and managing director of listed Australian fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments (Blue Sky), is just being modest when he says: “We’re dramatically smaller than Blackstone, but that’s the model. We’re about building a global footprint, but at the moment we’re just at the starting line.”

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Strife on the ocean wave

When Mark Sowerby, founder and managing director of Australian alternative asset manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments, popped in to see us a couple of months back, it was a little surprising to hear that his UK base was not in or around London but in Dover, Kent – some 77 miles away.

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Pet Circle placed 4th on the BRW Fast 100 2015 list

Every year BRW publishes a number of high profile lists ranging from the Fast 100 for Australia’s fastest growing companies to best places to work, which reveals top employers in Australia. Making a BRW list can be a powerful marketing tool for any business to help them open doors and win business. BRW’s Fast 100 list has for 25 years been Australia’s biggest celebration of business growth and entrepreneurship. Yesterday, Pet Circle, a Blue Sky Venture Capital Portfolio Company was placed 4th in the BRW Fast 100 2015 list. This is a great achievement for the company and validates our belief in its potential.

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Liberals best bet to fix super taxes, says fund manager

Only a conservative government will have the political capital to change any inequities in superannuation tax concessions, according to Blue Sky Alternative Investments.

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Award adds to Origo Education success

Brisbane-based learning system provider ORIGO Education, a Blue Sky Private Equity Portfolio Company has triumphed in the Education and Training category at the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards.

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Alternatives on a wave

On Saturday 8 August, Sowerby completed the 54km swim from the English coast to mainland Europe. The achievement, which he is hoping will raise $1 million for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, was the pinnacle of a year-long training program in which the private equity and water investment expert clocked up hundreds of kilometres in the pool and the ocean. “The professionalism around the two-year preparation for that swim taught me a lot,” he says.

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Why Elaine Stead went from running companies to buying them

Discovering a way to improve the process of testing for genetic diseases in utero was the first step in stem cell biologist Elaine Stead's path to becoming head of venture capital for Blue Sky Funds.

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Road to profit paved with self-belief

At 35, Mark Sowerby took everything he owned and bet it on his new business, Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited. It was a courageous move, made right on the eve of the global financial crisis.

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Blue Sky Dynamic Macro Fund - Winner of the Best Macro Fund at the HFM Asian Hedge Fund Awards

The Blue Sky Dynamic Macro Fund was announced as the winner of the Best Macro Fund at the HFM Asian Hedge Fund Awards held at the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel on Monday, 21 September. The fourth annual HFM Asia Performance Awards are an evening of recognition and rewards for those hedge funds and funds of hedge funds that have outperformed their peers over the past 12 months.

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Readify fuels growth with Huegin acquisition

Melbourne-based Readify has completed its second acquisition in 12 months with the technology services company picking up data modelling, analytics and visualisation outfit Huegin Consulting. It's a move Readify managing director Graeme Strange says is the next step in his plan to make the company a holistic innovation house.

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Australian Hedge Fund Awards

Blue Sky was well represented at the recent Australian Hedge Fund Awards which took place in Sydney with the Real Return Fund (IS9) nominated for the Best Multi Manager award and Dynamic Macro up for the best Macro award. Dynamic Macro was also one of three managers nominated for the grand prize, Hedge Fund of the Year.

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Blue Sky still thirsty after pubs take over

The private equity arm of the listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments will look to revamp the 10 Adelaide pubs it bought from Independent Pub Group for about $66.56 million before chasing after more pub deals. Blue Sky Private Equity teamed up with former IPG boss and Greg Maitland to buy the portfolio and will rebrand the business as GM Hotels while looking to lift revenue across the suburban portfolio.

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Equity deals grow as returns increase

Over the past five years, Blue Sky has invested in a range of businesses, including Viking Rentals, Lenard's and retirement village operator Oak Tree Group. Private equity firms are often attracted to profitable businesses where the founder is eventually seeking to exit the company.

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First State Super invests in Aussie agriculture

First State Super has made a significant investment in Australian agriculture, involving a 20-year sale and leaseback structure offered by the publically listed company Select Harvests Limited (SHV). This investment will give First State Super a major stake in the almond sector, which has recently become Australia’s highest grossing horticultural export.

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Blue Sky Water Partners deploys mandate

The $53 billion First State Super has made its first agricultural investment in Australia buying more than $150 million worth of almond plantations across three states from agriculture company Select Harvests.

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Select Harvests - Almond Orchard Expansion

Today, Select Harvests (ASX:SHV) announces it has entered an agreement with First State Super, the $52bn profit-to-member super fund, to underwrite a significant increase in new almond plantings.

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Alcidion to List on ASX

Australian healthcare informatics provider Alcidion will list on the Australian Securities Exchange later this year after agreeing to be taken over by mining shell company Naracoota Resources, in a $12 million deal to kickstart its ambitious US expansion plans.

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Water fund reaps 32pc gain, El Nino offers more

The water trading fund managed by listed private equity company Blue Sky Alternative Investments has achieved a return of more than 32 per cent in fiscal 2015 as farmers flock to cheaper land and invest in high-return crops in the areas where the fund has purchased water.

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City is main attraction

Blue Sky Private Real Estate and Construction Control have commenced construction on The Establishment, an eight-storey designer complex on Kangaroo Point’s Main Street. Featuring 105 apartments (25 one bed, 72 two bed and 8 three bed), a rooftop pool and a BBQ recreation area with panoramic views of the city, the signature building will integrate the suburb’s classic character.

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Blue Sky flies higher with more student digs

Blue Sky Private Real Estate has secured a premium site on Latrobe Street in Melbourne’s CBD, to deliver a 793 bed purpose built student accommodation facility. The 1,321 square metre site is strategically located within walking distance of RMIT, the University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Central Train Station. This is the third student accommodation development site for Blue Sky Private Real Estate, who earlier this year secured two Brisbane sites to deliver over 1,000 rooms in the Queensland capital. The company is currently progressing a fourth site in the Adelaide CBD to provide an additional 400 student beds.  

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Blue Sky Private Equity backs leading pharmacy services provider

In its largest deal to date, Blue Sky Private Equity has acquired a majority share in HPS, for an undisclosed amount, to take a stake in the growing $2.3 billion hospital pharmacy market. Blue Sky partnered with Partners Group for the investment. HPS and its network of pharmacies is Australia’s leading outsourced hospital and oncology pharmacy services business, with annual turnover in excess of $130 million and 430 staff across its network, backed by long-term contracts with blue chip customers such as Healthscope, Calvary and St John of God.

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Vivo jumps at management rights as falling dollar boosts tourism

Vivo Property, backed by Blue Sky Private Real Estate, has quietly amassed serviced and permanent apartments throughout Queensland and Northern Territory since opening its doors in 2013. The company's largest deal to date saw it acquire the management rights to three Southport Central Gold Coast Towers for more than $7 million, comprising more than 700 apartments.

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HeyLets, our Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company has been featured by Apple as one of the 'Best New Apps'!

"Wooooohooooo! We've been featured by Apple as one of the 'Best New Apps'! Your beautiful self, amazing experiences and solid app feedback have helped make this happpen! So pat yourself on the back... you're part of our founding community and have paved the way for people to better discover great things to do - no matter where they are in the world! Also, be sure to share HeyLets with your friends. Nothing's better than having your pals share their recommendations for you to wishlist and remember. Cheers!" - The HeyLets Team

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Blue Sky expects to reach $2b by 2017

Alternative investment manager Blue Sky expects to hit $2 billion in assets under management by 2017, after the fund manager cleared the $1 billion hurdle earlier this year.

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Blue Sky declares first close for its second venture capital fund

Blue Sky Venture Capital has declared first close for its venture capital fund (VC2014) with more than $15 million in committed capital.

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Time to be alternative ... like everybody else

Regular readers of the financial press will know the wealthiest ­investors increasingly have a high proportion of their portfolios in so-called alternative investments. Similarly the nation’s strongest institutional investors use this form of investing to increase ­returns. The Future Fund, for ­example, has more than a third of its holdings in alternatives. One reason for this allocation is that on almost all long-term valuation metrics, traditional asset classes look expensive, with equity markets expensive relative to earnings, and bond yields at historic lows. These abnormal circumstances have persisted for so long they are beginning to be viewed as normal.

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Global investment giants ride the education wave to student housing

A wave of investment in student housing is expected in Australia as developers seek to fill a supply shortfall in which there are 1.2 million students enrolled but only 54,000 purpose built student bedrooms available.

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Warren Buffett lands in Australia with $500m IAG deal

It’s taken Warren Buffett 50 years to get around to Australia, but the world’s most famous investor arrived with a splash yesterday, taking a $500m stake in the ­nation’s biggest insurer, Insurance Australia Group, and declaring his interest in investing in more local companies.

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Readify brings home the Microsoft awards

Readify, a Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio company has scooped the pool taking out both the 2015 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year award for Australia and the 2015 Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management Partner of the Year award.

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Significant Investor Visa (‘SIV’) Program Changes

In April 2015, the Federal Government suspended the SIV program in advance of the introduction of a new complying investment framework which the Government intends will be implemented on 1 July 2015. Blue Sky is one of the few fund managers that currently has registered ESVCLPs. There is also the potential that other funds managed by Blue Sky may offer SIV solutions.

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The rise of student accommodation

The recent depreciation of the Australian dollar has made it cheaper and easier than ever for international students to live and study in Brisbane. In addition, Brisbane City Council has also embarked on a new strategy to encourage the development of new accommodation for an expected influx of international students in the future.

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Blue Sky set for first close of new VC fund

Listed alternative investment manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited has attracted strong interest for its second venture capital fund, receiving commitments for around $20 million.

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This $30 million Australian venture capital fund is on the hunt for 10 new expanding companies

Australian venture capital outfit Blue Sky will close out its second major fund this week, raising more than $20 million as it looks to hit $30 million by the end of the year to invest in startups and companies on the rise.

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Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX:BAF) raises $20 million

Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund Limited (ASX: BAF) has successfully completed a $20 million capital raise through a one for three non-renounceable entitlement offer. The funds raised will be used to build on the listed investment company’s actively managed portfolio of alternative assets across private equity and venture capital, water and agriculture, hedge funds and private real estate.

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Technology innovation key to engagement

At Blue Sky we have implemented both an app, Your Fingerprint, and video updates to great success. We get hundreds of Your Fingerprint downloads every week and the vast majority of our investors and shareholders regularly use the app. These initiatives have really helped educate our investors, shareholders and the market about alternative investments. New technology has become an integral part of how we do business, and the overwhelming response and uptake by investors of the Your Fingerprint app confirms it was the right step for us to take.

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HeyLets made the cover of Product Hunt

Product Hunt surfaces the best new products, every day. It's a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.

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HeyLets, A Personalised Location Discovery App, Raises Seed Funding

With the number of location discovery apps out there already, the question might not be “Where should we go?” but “Why make another one?” The developers of HeyLets (Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company), however, believe there is still room to stand apart by delivering more personalized recommendations to people based on their interests (users can pick from 30 categories, ranging from the obvious like “fine dining” to more niche interests such as “cards and board games” or “new age and psychedelics”) and profile information.

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Application for 2000 new student accommodation rooms in Brisbane

Development approvals for more than 2000 student accommodation rooms across Brisbane are before council as builders seek to take advantage of 80 per cent fee cuts to spur sector investment. Today Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said council had approved the first application of 286 beds in a wave of accommodation providers since the fee changes were announced in February.

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Blue Sky’s laudable move to attract superfunds

The Australian fund manager’s new multi-asset class agriculture fund is an innovative attempt to appeal to more pools of capital. Typically, investors have gained exposure to Australian agriculture by way of farmland investment. There’s plenty of it. It’s not expensive compared to other developed markets. And there are a variety of ways to make improvements, transition into new, value-added commodities and generally try to access the Asian consumer demand theme.

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1000 Blue Sky student rooms for Brisbane

Blue Sky Private Real Estate ('Blue Sky') has purchased two key development sites in Brisbane’s South Bank and Woolloongabba to develop more than 1,000 purpose-built rooms worth $160 million, to service the undersupply of student accommodation in the city.

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Innovation expert Russell Yardley says collaboration key

Readify (a Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio company) develops software and is focused on working with the most interesting clients, not the most generous. "The opportunity cost of working in things that are not innovative, that are not rewarding, inspiring and engaging, is high," says Yardley. "If you are working for a really smart, driven, innovative customer or if you are working for a very mealy mouthed, uninspiring, but rich customer, that pays you lots of money, I know which one I would go for."

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Blue Sky targets Aussie super funds with new $300m strategic fund

Blue Sky Strategic Australian Agriculture Fund will invest across agriculture infrastructure, agribusiness private equity and water entitlements offering an IRR of 12%-15%.

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Heart and Soul Built This Bowl :: Skating the Beach Burrito Melbourne

Walking through the doors of Beach Burrito Company’s (a Blue Sky Venture Capital portfolio company) latest incarnation, I felt like I had just entered another world; a VHS world to be exact. It’s a mash-up of biker gang hideouts from Escape from New York mixed with the bar from Animal Chin Thrashin’ and a pinch of the Ninja Turtles lair for good measure.

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Readify helps drive better decisions from ambos

Readify appeared on page 28 of today's The Australian. The article gives an overview of how Readify developed technology that helps support Adult Retrieval Victoria (a department within Ambulance Victoria) to improve decision-making processes and ultimately clinical outcomes. This is just one of many examples of how Readify helps its clients to solve complex problems through software.

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Blue Sky alternative fund targets $20 million

Listed investment company Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund is raising up to $20 million through a 1-for-3 non-renounceable rights issue. The shares will be issued at $1 each, or a 9.4 per cent discount to the volume-weighted average price over the last 10 days to Friday.

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Entitlement Offer to raise up to approximately $20 million

Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund Limited (ASX:BAF) (Alternatives Fund) today announced that it will raise up to approximately $20 million through a 1 for 3 non-renounceable entitlement offer (Entitlement Offer) of fully paid ordinary shares in the Alternatives Fund (New Shares). The issue price for the Entitlement Offer will be $1.00 per New Share (Issue Price). The Issue Price represents a 9.4% discount to the ten day volume weighted average price (VWAP) of the Company’s Shares traded on the ASX over the ten days up to and including 10 April 2015.

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Brisbane Business News uncovered the top 50 listed companies

#36. Blue Sky Alternative Investments - (ASX:BLA) BURGEONING portfolio growth has delivered strong results for Blue Sky. The fund manager posted a net profit after tax of nearly $2.5 million in HY15, up from $300,000 in the previous period. Underlying revenue also increased to $16.5 million, with EBITDA up from $0.9 million to $4.2 million. Blue Sky has continued to ride a wave of success, after achieving $1 billion in assets under management well ahead of its June 30 target. The company was also added to the All Ordinaries index. Blue Sky appears set to capitalise on further growth as alternative assets become more mainstream, backed by its investment performance history and Rainmaker data.

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Foundation Early Learning to boost number of centres to 100

Queensland based company Foundation Early Learning wants to spread their brand of luxury childcare across the country, with a plan to own and operate 100 childcare centres by the end of the year. Managing Director John Wall said with over 40 years of childcare experience between himself and business partner Fiona O’Donnell, one of the things that sets them a part is their focus on state of the art childcare centres. The childcare operator, which already owns and manages 35 childcare centres in Queensland and some in the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory, secured a $20 million investment from Blue Sky Private Equity.

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Blue Sky Cracks a Billion Ahead of Target

BLUE Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX:BLA) has cracked the billion dollar mark for assets under management well ahead of forecast.

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An alternative home for super

Saving for retirement is all about saving for the long term, so it is continually surprising to see the extent to which individual investors and advisers favour short-term, highly liquid assets in their portfolios.

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Funding boost has Foundation group chasing 100 childcare centres

Childcare service operator Foundation Early Learning is on the hunt for 40 childcare centres after securing $20 million in funding from private equity firm Blue Sky.

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Venture capital is the next opportunity for SMSFs

Self-managed super fund investors are starting to use their resources to invest in start-up companies, providing venture capital to exciting new ventures that need the money to pursue growth strategies. But it is important to remember that start-ups are by their nature risky, and it pays to do your homework before committing retirement savings to early-stage ventures.

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Blue Sky behind Brisbane market

Blue Sky Private Real Estate is taking advantage of the booming Brisbane apartment market launching five new projects in the city's south this year aiming to build 1000 apartments within the next two years.

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX:BLA) admitted to the All Ordinaries Index

We are pleased to report that S&P Dow Jones Indices has today announced that Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX:BLA) is to be added to the Australian All Ordinaries Index after the close of trading on 20 March 2015. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support since 2006. This is an important step forward in the progress and development of our company.

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ParcelPoint cements market leadership with $3.6 million investment

Australia’s largest independent online ‘Click & Collect’ delivery network, ParcelPoint, has received a $3.6 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital. ParcelPoint is the only significant alternative to the current post office network in Australia. The company turns local stores such as pharmacies, newsagents, convenience stores and storage facilities, into extended-hours parcel collection points, which customers can visit when it suits them. It also provides retailers with a click & collect option for customers to pick up their online purchase in store. The capital injection by Blue Sky Venture Capital will help ParcelPoint nearly triple the number of delivery points in Australia to 3,000, more than double the number of retailers on board and create more than 10 jobs over the next financial year.

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Power to run Blue Sky hedge funds

Blue Sky Alternative Investments has appointed Neil Power as managing director of its hedge fund division. The group’s managing director, Mark Sowerby, told financialobserver the recruitment of Power was a coup for the hedge fund business. “When someone as great as Neil comes along, we have to have them,” Sowerby said, adding he brought with him more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

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Blue Sky aims for $1bn as investors diversify

Blue Sky Alternative Investments is confident of reaching a $1 billion target for funds under management within the next four months as growth-oriented investors continue to diversify away from property, bonds and equities. The Brisbane-based fund manager said all four fund groups — venture capital, private equity, real assets and private real estate — contributed to growth funds under management, putting the company on track to double funds under management in two years.

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Neil Power to run Blue Sky hedge funds

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) has appointed Neil Power as managing director of its hedge fund division. Mr Power brings more than 20 years of experience working in the hedge fund industry. He most recently was a partner at Australian-based advisory and placement firm Allen Partners. In 2007, Mr Power joined Boronia Capital, one of Australia’s oldest and largest hedge funds, where he was instrumental in helping triple the fund’s Assets Under Management (AUM) to $3 billion.

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Blue Sky wins as investors flock to alternatives

Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA) has capitalised on the nation's growing trend towards the alternative investments, reporting strong results. The fund manager lifted its half-year net profit to $2.6 million, up from $0.3 million in the previous period. The company also more than doubled underlying revenue from $7.2 million in HY14 to $16.5 million in HY15.

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Could platform bias be undermining returns?

Investors and advisers are incorrectly adopting a short-term investment skew when it comes to self-managed super funds, with a platform-driven gearing towards liquid assets that could undermine long-term performance. Such is the view of Blue Sky Alternative Investments director of investments, Alex McNab, who expressed confusion about why there was such a heavy bias towards liquid investment classes in the superannuation space.

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Ultra high net worths seize on alternative investment protection

IT is no secret that the key conversation in Australian ultra high net worth wealth advisory at the ­moment is based around what’s known as “alternative investments”. This should not come as a ­surprise considering the particularly precarious international backdrop. Australia’s global private banks and wealth advisory firms are working closely with family offices and UHNW individuals on a wide array of alternative asset ­allocations in a direct effort to ­ensure meaningful returns, come what may, this year.

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New Brisbane Head Office Address

Level 46, 111 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000. Contact phone number and email remain unchanged.

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Venture capital not doomed, local investors tell Labor MP Ed Husic

So what do Australian investors think of the claim venture capital will not exist locally in five years? Dr Elaine Stead, investment director for Blue Sky Venture Capital, says she doesn’t think this possibility is supported by the data and trends she is seeing. “The total quantum of capital invested last year started to increase for the first time since the economic crisis,” she says.

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Alternative investment ideas evolving

The Australian alternative investment space is beginning to see the development of different concepts and asset classes, such as social infrastructure. Blue Sky Alternative Investments chief investment officer Alex McNab said while there were not many new developments coming out of traditional private equity and venture capital, there was no shortage of ideas for new alternative investments.

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Alternative point of view

Although the start of the new year may seem much like a continuation of the past one, those paid the big bucks to monitor the heartbeat of the market believe a new rhythm can be detected. Joseph Amato, president and CIO of Neuberger Berman, puts it this way: "In 2015, we see central banks and growth rates of the major developed economies moving in different directions. Although the long-term trend for global growth appears positive, we anticipate variable market performance as investors come to terms with new economic realities across global markets."

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The alternative way to diversify your portfolio

It happens in art, fashion, music, literature, so why not investment? Eventually, the "alternative" becomes mainstream. Alternative investments are those that are not the traditional building blocks of a portfolio, being shares, cash, bonds and property. As they have different returns streams from mainstream investments, such as equities and bonds, where payments in the form of coupons or dividends can generally be expected every six months, alternatives can diversify a portfolio.

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Blue Sky thinking puts Sowerby in the swim

IF all goes to plan by August next year, when Blue Sky Alternative Investments reports its annual ­results, chief executive Mark Sowerby will have climbed the metaphorical mountain. Actually, let’s say he will have swum the ­English Channel. The founder of the country’s only listed alternative investment manager is deep in training for the 21km swim from Dover to Calais in August, and plans to move to the English city for several weeks leading up to the crossing to train in the pool there.

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Missing the woods for the fees

Investors have been far too focused on low fees over the last three years, argues Blue Sky Alternative Investments chief investment officer Alex McNab. Industry super funds are marketing low fees as the ‘be all and end all’, and the Financial System Inquiry is keeping that momentum going, pushing for lower fees on superannuation.

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Government subsidies not the key to venture capital

GOVERNMENTS should focus more on "setting the table" for institutional funds to develop the venture capital industry than "handing out oversized cheques", according to one of the world’s foremost experts on investing in high-growth companies.

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Blue Sky banking on Brisbane

Blue Sky Alternative Investments is banking on the strength of Brisbane’s inner-city apartment market with 1000 units in the pipeline across 13 projects. The ASX-listed group, which has $700 million in assets under management, won approval last week to develop the $33m, 10-storey Archive tower in Woolloongabba, on Brisbane’s southside.

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Start-up upstarts feed local appetite for venture capital success

Elaine Stead, the investment director at Blue Sky, said the approach of giving a start-up $1m and sending them off to the US might seem unusual, but has long been in the business plan. “They need to be in the biggest market for their product,’’ Stead says.

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$3m injection for skin device

A “DISRUPTION” in the market for financing medical devices has allowed local venture capital funds to bring a second company from the US to Australia ahead of full commercialisation.

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Successful investing a matter of approach

Another difference between wealthy and average investors, says Alex McNab, is the rich take a portfolio approach rather than focusing on individual holdings.

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Blue Sky reports $6.24 million profit and 69% revenue growth

Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) today announced its results for the full year ending 30 June 2014, reporting an underlying Net Profit After Tax of $6.24 million (up 60 per cent from $3.89 million in 2013) and a 69 per cent increase in revenue (from $14.2 million to $24.0 million).

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments to raise $30m

Australia’s cash-starved venture capital sector is set to get a shot in the arm, as Brisbane-based Blue Sky Alternative Investments seeks to raise $30 million for its second venture capital fund.

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Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund LIC rises on IPO

Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund, a $60 million fund investing in private equity and water rights, closed 1.5 per cent higher as the listed investment company (LIC) made its initial public offering on Monday.

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Blue Sky raises $60 million for Australia’s first alternatives LIC

Strong investor interest has seen Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited raise more than $60 million in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of its Alternatives Access Fund, exceeding the minimum subscription level of $50 million.

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Wealthy investors eye scarcity for huge gains

IT’S the kind of investment that might be a little uncomfortable to discuss at cocktail parties, but it’s a favourite in the higher-end spheres of family offices and hedge funds: capitalising on shortages in worldwide resources.

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Beach Burrito is surfing the Mexican trend

Read says. “I’d like to get to 20 stores and $20-million revenue and at that point evaluate where the company’s at and where it’s going. We’re not that far away – probably a year and half or two years max.”

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Brisbane Top 50 Public Companies

The best in the business - Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited ranked 40 on the Top 50 Brisbane Public Companies List.

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BLICs that target unlisted assets

THE growing popularity of listed investment companies has been underpinned by two new offerings which tap investor appetite for alternative unlisted assets.

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The 'Alternatives' Fund Receives A Recommended Zenith Rating

Blue Sky has quickly carved out a niche…as one of the fastest growing boutique funds management organisations in Australia specialising in the area of alternative investing  

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Money Management Magazine - There is an alternative

Overseas institutional investors have long recognised the benefits of substantial allocations to alternative asset classes.

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Alternative Investments - Break With Tradition

The alternatives category encompasses a diverse range of investments that aim to provide different return and risk characteristics to traditional bonds and listed stocks.

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The Courier-Mail reports: IPO set for take off

The Courier-Mail - Blue Sky Alternative Investments hopes to raise up to $100 million in an IPO of the nation’s first listed investment company focus on diversified and alternative asset classes.

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Blue Sky plans IPO for second investment vehicle

The Australian - Blue Sky Alternative Investments, the Brisbane-based ASX listed private equity, real estate, venture capital and hedge fund manager, says it plans to raise up to $100 million for a listed investment company.

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Blue Sky ventures into greener pastures

Blue Sky’s venture capital arm invested in Beach Burrito in 2006, making it a far longer investment than the typical two to four-year horizon.

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Blue Sky to acquire hedge fund Investment Science

The Australian - Blue Sky Alternative Investments plans to acquire hedge fund Investment Science Asset Management, which has $70 million in funds under management...

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Investors eye golden returns from water rights

The Australian - A state-run system giving farmers fixed allocations for river water flowing into the country’s agricultural heartland...

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All going swimmingly for some liquid assets

The Australian - If there's a definitive signal to buy water rights it's when the PM traipses out to the back of Bourke with Barnaby Joyce to pose with drought-stricken cockies.

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Blue Sky on track to reach $500m by June

Financial Standard - Listed fund manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments has reported a 31% increase in underlying income to $7.2 million for the half year to 31 December.

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Venture Fund invests in online pet supplies

APE&VCJ - Blue Sky Venture Capital Fund has made its largest investment to date, committing $1.5 million in Series A funding to online pet supplies retailer Paws for Life in December.

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Blue Sky Ahead for Funds

The Courier Mail - THINKING outside the box is a central part of Mark Sowerby's business mantra.  For the Founder and Managing Director of Brisbane-based Blue Sky Alternative Investments his strategy has been vindicated.

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Blue Sky completes $25.6m capital raising

Investor Daily - Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited has completed a $25.6 million capital raising through a share placement to institutional and 'sophisticated' investors.

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No nit picking: Head lice group Hatchtech gets green light to trials

Business Review Weekly - Melbourne pharmaceutical hopeful Hatchtech has taken another step towards getting its head lice treatment approved in the lucrative American market.

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Why low term deposit rates will help start-ups get capital

Business Review Weekly - Low interest rates on offer from term deposits and other savings products are pushing investors towards venture capital and other alternative investments.

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The Sunny Side of Blue Sky

The Deal Magazine - Australian savers are exposed to only a few asset classes. Somebody needs to break open this alternative market.

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Blue Sky promotes water as a tradeable commodity

The Australian Financial Review - Listed asset manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited is in discussions with major Australian Superannuation funds about investing in its new water entitlements.

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Blue Sky scoops the pool at Lord Mayor's Business Awards

Brisbane Marketing - Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited was the star of the 2013 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards at City hall tonight, winning the supreme Optus Business Platinum Award and the Australia TradeCoast Award for Business Growth.

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Keep your portfolio afloat by investing in water rights plays

The Weekend Australian - FOR those who subscribe to the investment theory of buying straw hats in winter and selling them in summer, the $25 billion water rights sector is worth considering, at least as a diversification in a traditional portfolio.

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Agriculture seen as stable investment

The head of an equity group says there is a wall of money coming agriculture's way because of the tangible nature of its assets.

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments raises $6.8 million

BRISBANE based Blue Sky Alternative Investments has successfully raised $6.83 million in equity through a share placement, which it intends to invest back into its own funds. The placement shares were issued to professional and sophisticated investors at an issue price of $1.40 per share, a discount of approximately 6.7 per cent to the closing price of $1.50 on 9 August 2013, the company's last day of trading prior to going into a trading halt.

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Nothing but Blue Sky

A quote about persistence paying off, from a US President in the early 1900s, is written on the office entrance wall of Blue Sky Alternative Investmes in Brisbane's CBD. Managing Director Mark Sowerby says "that is us" and sums up his 40-strong team, who only launched as a company in 2006 and listed on the stock exchange last year -- and already have more than $300 million in assets under management.

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Land of milk and honey

Us swimming great Debbie Meyer once said, "Believe in yourself, not only in swimming, but in life itself. You always have to have fun. You have to have an open mind. If you're not enjoying it, don't do it. Life's too short."1264_001

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Graham Dooley appointed Australian Water Association president

The Chairman of Blue Sky Water Partners Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX:BLA) has been appointed President of the peak Australian water industry body, the Australia Water Association (AWA).

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Blue Sky takes a bigger bite of Beach Burrito co

Blue Sky Private Equity has made an additional investment of more than 3 million Australian dollars (US$3.1 million) in Beach Burrito Company, an Australia-based Mexican restaurant chain,  to help the company expand into new locations.

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Blue Sky to open Sydney office

Blue Sky Alternative Investments has appointed Andrew Champion and Mark Watson, two new senior executives with experience in corporate finance in the private equity industry, to run its operations in Sydney and Adelaide. The Australian Financial Review

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Premier award for Blue Sky Water Partners Chairman

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Alternative Investments: Chasing the Puck

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Blue Sky pumps water as next liquid commodity market

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Oil Industry Catering and Services scores a $3 million investment from Blue Sky

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Structural shift as funds seek better alternatives

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Meeting the Investment Challenge

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Michael Klim: From the pool to the boardroom

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A $2m win for businessman Michael Klim

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Blue Sky gets Milk in deal with Olympian

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Milk and moolah for Klim enterprise

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Get off the trodden path

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Alpha Waves

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SMSFs need better access to alternatives: Blue Sky

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Hedge Funds Make Conversations

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Lessons Earnt

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The Alternative Road

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Blue Sky flying high after bumpy ride

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Lenard's chooks freshen up against competitors

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Australian Business – Part 2

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Australian Business – Part 1

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Blue Sky confidence parts capital clouds over Alcidion

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