A former employee of Wilson Asset Management will lead its new listed investment company, WAM Global.

Catriona Burns has been appointed lead portfolio manager of WAM’s new global equities LIC, commencing mid-February and investing in undervalued international growth companies.

Burns began her funds management career with WAM in 2003, departing in 2007. She has since held portfolio management roles with the likes of Hunter Hall and Airlie Funds Management.

WAM chairman Geoff Wilson described Burns as an exceptional investor who would deliver for WAM Global shareholders.

“I have known Catriona for more than 14 years and she is a brilliant fund manager who knows our investment process intimately. We are delighted that she will lead WAM Global and provide investors with an outstanding opportunity to gain access to a diversified portfolio of undervalued international growth companies,” Wilson said.

Burns said: “Working as an analyst with Geoff, I helped develop and implement the investment process that has delivered strong risk-adjusted returns for shareholders over our 20-year history.”

The initial public offering for WAM Global is expected to launch in late April, with WAM Capital, WAM Leaders, WAM Microcap, WAM Research and WAM Active shareholders receiving priority allocation.

Separately, Wilson was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) on Australia Day. He was appointed “for distinguished service to the business and finance sectors, particularly in the field of asset management and investment, to professional financial bodies, and to the community as a supporter of charitable foundations.”

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove said Australia Day was a day “to recognise inspiring every-day Australians whose selflessness and determination to help others makes Australia a better a place.”

“Recognition is so important, and we can all do more to recognise and celebrate the achievements of others – and there is no more significant day than this to acknowledge their service,” he said.