News & Insights

Plato expands research capabilities



9th February 2015: Plato Investment Management Limited (Plato), a boutique quantitative equities fund manager, has expanded its investment team with the appointment of Dr Jonathan Whiteoak as Senior Quantitative Analyst. Dr Whiteoak will primarily be responsible for driving research into quantitative stock selection models, alpha generation and portfolio construction.

Jonathan has over 15 years’ investment experience researching Australian, Asian and global equities, most recently as Head of State Street Global Advisors’ (SSgA) Advanced Research Center in Sydney. At SSgA Jonathan led a global taskforce of 15 people involved with research into advanced dynamic active equity models. He also conducted research in Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. Jonathan has a PhD in Astrophysics and a first class honours degree in Science from the University of Sydney.

Plato’s founder and Managing Director, Dr Don Hamson said, “I am delighted that Jonathan has chosen to join Plato. A number of our team previously worked with Jonathan at SSgA and we look forward to working with him again. Jonathan significantly enhances our research capability and his hiring demonstrates our strong commitment to proprietary research and innovation.”

Dr Jonathan Whiteoak said: “As a researcher I’m really looking forward to working in Plato’s boutique environment. I’ve followed Plato’s progress over recent years and was extremely pleased to have the opportunity to join the firm at this exciting stage in its development.”

The expansion of Plato’s investment team follows a year of strong investment returns and business growth. Plato’s Funds Under Management (FUM) increased by more than 50% in 2014 and now exceeds $1.3B. Performance has also been strong across Plato’s product suite relative to the market, with the highlights being:

  • Plato’s low cost Enhanced Index strategy has delivered 1.1% p.a. excess return since inception (March 2011) with an information ratio of 1.8; and
  • Plato’s Low Volatility strategy delivering 5% p.a. excess return since inception (February 2013) with significantly lower risk than the market, and overall providing a 50% better Sharpe ratio than the market.