Robert Maple-Brown AO (1940-2012)
Robert Lee Maple-Brown founded Maple-Brown Abbott with Chris Abbott in 1984. The firm started with AUD$35 million under management and grew to be one of the most successful and well respected boutique funds management firms in Australia. Robert was regarded as the founding father of independent funds management in Australia and gained the respect of clients, colleagues and the broader financial services industry. Robert received an Order of Australia Medal in 2010 for his services to the community through leadership and executive roles with a range of charitable organisations in the areas of arts, health, welfare, medical research, education and through philanthropy. Maple-Brown Abbott and the Maple-Brown Family Charitable Foundation supports more than 100 charities. Robert held a doctorate from the University of NSW and was a Fellow of the Sydney of University. He was a dedicated family man and is survived by his wife Susan and his four children and 11 grandchildren.
Robert was the son of a grazier and learnt about the different seasons and the unpredictable nature of farming, which helped him form an appreciation of the long term, looking through shorter term cycles. From a young age he developed an interest in share investing and was humble and respectful in everything he did.
In 1970 he joined Rothschild Australia after graduating from the University of NSW with a commerce degree. After managing money for 14 years he teamed up with Chris Abbott and started Maple-Brown Abbott employing a value-based investment philosophy that is still used today.
He was a person of high morals, integrity and had the respect of all those around him. His investment record is second to none in Australia which was achieved through many market and economic cycles, distinguishing himself and the firm by being able to stand aside from the momentum and bravado in markets at times while retaining his value-based perspective. He set a standard of what can be achieved and was a role model to others who followed. His values and the way he carried himself is his legacy to the firm and the funds management industry.
His leadership, high standards and value-based investing will be remembered and revered for a long time to come.