Milltrust International Group
Chairman, Milltrust Agricultural Investments Ltd (UK)
Chairman, Milltrust Ventures Pte Ltd (Singapore)
Simon Hopkins is a successful entrepreneur and investment professional. He has been a senior figure in the international investment management industry for more than two decades, and a champion of investors’ rights. He was an early advocate of hedge fund investing for institutional investors, and has been a prolific capital raiser for single manager funds, funds of funds and listed closed-end funds. He is passionate about emerging markets, having launched numerous closed-end fund structures, and more recently a number of regulated collectives in Ireland. Mr Hopkins is a committed climate change warrior and in 2020, his family firm, Milltrust International entered into a landmark initiative with WWF to invest in the low carbon economy in Asia, and support the conservation programs and species extinction challenges of the organisation across the region.
Mr. Hopkins started his career at British bank S.G. Warburg, which ultimately became UBS Warburg, subsequently holding senior roles at HSBC James Capel and Nomura International, in 1996 Mr. Hopkins created one of the industry’s first dedicated research and investment consulting businesses in 1996 to provide truly objective analysis for investors. At its peak Global Fund Analysis (GFA) had over 27,000 registered users around the globe.
Concurrently, Mr. Hopkins played a pioneering role in seeding many European hedge funds through the Fortune Group, an award-winning alternatives investment advisory, and fund of hedge funds business. Fortune Group went on to become one of the UK’s pre-eminent multi-asset advisory firms managing over 7bn USD, with clients in 24 countries and a focus on pension funds, charities and endowments, as well as a number of the world’s leading families. The firm was successfully sold to UK-listed, financial services group, Close Brothers Group PLC, in 2006, culminating in its full integration in January 2010.
In 2011, Mr. Hopkins founded impact-focused Milltrust International in Singapore dedicated to the mantra of “Sustainable Prosperity”, operating an award-winning, FCA authorised, investment platform focusing on three key secular themes, the development of Emerging Markets, Agricultural Investments, and Science & Technological Innovation. More recently he chairs the Singapore-based Venture Fund Management Company, Milltrust Ventures, a Milltrust affiliate regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Becoming a permanent resident of Singapore will permit him to commit to being a director of this business which is working closely with A-Star and NUS School of Medicine’s Kick-start commercialisation program.
Milltrust serves as manager of the Irish-regulated Collective Asset Vehicle (ICAV), Milltrust International Managed Investments offering a range of world-class investment solutions including over 15,000 ha of diversified farmland investments in Australia and New Zealand, hospitality assets in Asia and other specialist real estate investments. Milltrust also manages the British Innovation Fund, partnering with the leading Universities and Centres of Innovation in the UK and around the world. In Singapore, our plan is to launch a new VCC called Future Health to support the nascent health tech economy here. We have already made an investment into Green Feed Company, Protenga Pte Ltd, along with Enterprise Singapore’s SEEDS Fund.
Milltrust also delivers the industry’s first dedicated Emerging Markets Managed Accounts Platform which provides international investors with access to the local equity markets in the form of regulated Irish funds, through a selection of some of the world’s best regional asset managers. It has structured significant financial investments with Value Partners (Hong Kong) and Keywise (Hong Kong), UTI International (Singapore), Lion Global Investors (Singapore), BTG Pactual (Brazil), ItaúUnibanco (Brazil), and Singular Asset Management (Singapore) for example.
In addition to the group companies, Mr. Hopkins serves as an investment advisor to the British Innovation Fund, a U.K. University Venture Fund, which is working closely with to develop vaccine surveillance tools for the Singapore Ministry of Health (Diagnostics Development Hub), and also CerraCap Ventures, an early stage technology investor with offices in Singapore. CerraCap Partners have made cornerstone investments into several fast growing Singaporean companies in recent years include Dathena Pte Ltd, GreenArc Capital Pte Ltd, and Proxtera Pte Ltd, a company supported also by MAS and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore.
He is a director of Swallowcourt Limited, a UK healthcare business, Xoomtrip Pte Ltd, a GCC-focused online travel agent, incorporated in Singapore, and Roslin Technologies (University of Edinburgh). Until 2019, he was the manager of the Asian Film Fund, advised by Singapore-based movie production company, M! Capital Pte Ltd, which produced over 11 Asian language films.
Mr Hopkins was founding director of Novare Fund Manager, one of the largest African asset management firms, and CITIC Securities One Belt One Road Fund (CSOBOR). He currently serves as a member of NUS Medicine International Council, Singapore where he sits on the Kickstart investment committee, investing into pioneering science (NIC).
He graduated with honours from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Law in 1986 and speaks fluent French. In 2017, Mr Hopkins completed the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma in Singapore to qualify him to sit on the boards of Asian listed companies. He travels extensively but resides permanently with his wife, Korean born British citizen, Joann Jhin, in Singapore, and is deeply committed to promoting the long-term success of the Singapore economy through the harnessing of his international network.