Category Archives: Fund Manager Focus

Robeco – Rotterdam

Robeco is one of Europe’s largest asset managers with more than $200 bn in assets under management. Founded in 1929, just weeks after the Wall Street Crash, by seven Rotterdam businessmen who formed a syndicate to invest people’s savings and manage money collectively, it was called the Rotterdamsch Beleggings Consortium, later shortened to Robeco.

The multinational firm is a research-driven active manager, renowned for its sustainability investing. In the US, it owns Harbor Capital Advisors and Boston Partners Asset Management, and acquired Sustainable Asset Management in Zurich in the 2000s. Robeco’s ‘investment engineers’ routinely integrate sustainability factors into their entire range of equity and fixed-income strategies and their investment style is bottom-up stock selection with top-down checks.

The Robeco Sustainable Global Stars Equities Fund has been investing worldwide since 1929, making it the oldest existing fund in the Netherlands. Today it has $5 bn in assets under management and both a 5-Star and 5-Globe ESG Morningstar rating. Oliver Attwater joined Robeco in September 2021 and works alongside five other portfolio managers on the Sustainable Global Stars Equities Fund.

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DECALIA – Geneva

Roberto Magnatantini joined DECALIA in 2020. He is lead portfolio manager of DECALIA Silver Generation and DECALIA Eternity funds. Before joining DECALIA, Roberto was Head of Global Equities at SYZ Asset Management, where he spent 12 years managing two strategies for the OYSTER funds’ franchise. Before that, he worked four years at Lombard Odier and four years at HSBC where he managed equity funds. He is a CFA and CMT charter holder and holds a ESG certification from PRI.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Geneva, DECALIA SA is a fast-growing independent
investment management company, managing private and institutional assets. As of December 2021, it has $5 billion (4.9 bn CHF) AUM and 60+ employees, focusing on three activities: Wealth Management, Asset Management and Private Markets. DECALIA has expanded rapidly, thanks to its active-management experience built up over the last 30 years by its founders. The firm’s investment philosophy is based on several fundamental principles: stringent risk management, capital preservation, an active management style and selection of the best talent. They focus on developing investment solutions in four key investment themes: long-term trends, quest for yield, disintermediation of banking sector, inefficiencies in Europe. DECALIA are signatories of PRI and included in Article 8 of SFDR.

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AllianceBernstein – Copenhagen

Klaus Ingemann, co-CIO, joined AB in 2014 as Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst and was promoted to Co-Chief Investment Officer of Global Core Equity in 2018. He previously served as an executive member of the investment board at CPH Capital, which he co-founded in 2011. Prior to that, Klaus was chief portfolio manager and a member of the investment board at BankInvest. He previously worked as a corporate finance advisor for Carnegie Bank and before that, spent four years in the finance department at Tele Danmark. He holds a BSc in business administration and an MSc in finance and accounting from the Copenhagen Business School and is a CFA charterholder.

AllianceBernstein (AB) worldwide has $779 billion AUM, 51 locations and 4,050 employees, including 352 investment professionals.  The Copenhagen office has AUM of $21 billion. AB Copenhagen, was founded in 2014, when CPH Capital (founded 2010), was acquired by AB. The Copenhagen-based investment team manages its investments autonomously but gains access to AB’s broad global reach. AB Copenhagen manages global equity portfolios for both retail and institutional clients from around the world.

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Graphene Investments – Paris

Hubert Goyé founded Graphene Investments in 2016. He used to manage flagship funds at BNP Paribas Asset Management and was head of the international equity management division (since 1996). From 1990 – 1996, Hubert worked as head of index management and as specialist on quantitative techniques and development of a selection model for American stocks. He received his degree from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées.

Graphene Investments is a boutique investment house founded in 2016 by Hubert, who spent
almost twenty years at BNP Paribas Asset Management, heading the International Equity team and personally managing its two flagship strategies. The firm is specialized in managing US and Japanese equities and aims to be the “neighborhood” portfolio manager of European investors who understand the benefits of these overseas investments. They offer active strategies driven by stock-picking. Investment ideas are pre-selected though an extensively researched quantitative screening and then studied in detail. Robust rules and systems guarantee investment discipline throughout the process. The US strategy (US Essential Growth) is an active bottom-up approach whose objective is to beat the S&P 500 index (with net dividends reinvested). Securities are selected from a universe, of 500 – 600 large, liquid, well-covered stocks. Continue reading

Trillium Asset Management – Edinburgh

Trillium Asset Management is an impact driven, ESG focused investment firm with over $5.6 billion in assets under advisement as of 12/31/21. The firm delivers equity, fixed income, and alternative investments to institutions, intermediaries, high net worth individuals, and other charitable and non-profit organizations with the goal to provide positive impact, long-term value, and ‘social dividends’. With the aim of aligning stakeholders’ values and objectives, Trillium combines impactful investment solutions with active ownership. Headquartered in Boston, the firm opened its Edinburgh office in 2021 to manage a suite of global ESG-focused equities strategies. Continue reading

Independent Franchise Partners, LLP

Independent Franchise Partners, LLP was established in 2009 to offer the Franchise investment approach to institutional investors. The approach is based on the understanding that a concentrated portfolio of exceptionally high-quality companies, whose primary competitive advantage is supported by a dominant intangible asset, will earn attractive long-term returns with less than average volatility. This is particularly true when those investments are selected with an absolute value bias. Franchise Partners has AUM of $18.5 billion.

Hassan Elmasry, CFA Managing Partner, Lead Investor • 37 years’ experience • 19 years managing Franchise portfolios • Morgan Stanley, 1995-2009 • Previously at Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management and First Chicago Corporation • A.B. Economics; MBA, Finance, both from University of Chicago • Former co-chair and board member, Human Rights Watch.

Since we last interviewed you in July 2009, AUM have risen from $250 million to $18.5 billion. Congratulations! How much larger will AUM grow?

We aim to grow our client base a little from here but not too much. Our priority has always been to protect our ability to generate attractive returns for our existing clients. Experience shows that larger size is the enemy of investment returns. We have always tried to manage asset growth very conservatively, even back when we were at Morgan Stanley. So, we have a couple of billion dollars of available capacity for new clients but no plans to dramatically increase assets.

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Premier Miton Group plc – London

Premier Miton Group plc was formed in November 2019 from the merger of Premier Asset Management Group plc and Miton Group plc. The merger resulted in an active manager with $16 billion under management.

Nick Ford joined Premier Miton in December 2012 and co-manages the US Opportunities (AUM of $1.3 billion) and US Smaller Companies Funds ($458 million). Prior to this, he was at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and before that co-manager of the Gartmore US Smaller Companies fund, manager of the US funds for Sun Alliance and Clerical Medical, as well as working at F&C Asset Management.

 

Hugh Grieves joined Premier Miton in January 2013 and co-manages the US Opportunities and US Smaller Companies Funds. Prior to this, he was at Herald Investment Management. From 2000 – 2008 he co-managed the technology funds at SGAM and solely from 2008 – 2009. Prior to that, Hugh also worked in the US smaller companies team at Gartmore.

 

What’s changed since the merger with Premier?

When we did the deal, Miton had $6.8 billion (£5 bn) AUM and that figure is now $16 billion.

How does Premier Miton differentiate itself?

We have a very high Active Share (94.3%).  We are the only US multi cap fund.  We focus on capital preservation and do not chase crazy valuations (e.g., we don’t own the FAANGs).  We look very different to other funds and that works very well for clients looking to diversify risk.

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Alantra – London

Alantra is a European financial services firm with a team of over 500 professionals, based in 35 offices in 25 countries. Within the Alternative Asset Management division, it has $2.6 billion (€2.2 bn) AUM in different asset classes, $12.9 billion (€10.7bn) AUM in FoF and $2.8 billion (€2.3bn) AUM in Private Wealth.  In November 2020, the Alantra Global Technology Fund was launched.

Dr. Fiorangelo Salvatorelli is CIO/Founder of the Alantra Global Technology Fund. He has been an active technology investor for over 20 years, combining cross-disciplinary experience from consulting (Mckinsey & Co), long-only investing (Newton, Fidelity, CCLA), hedge fund management (Lansdowne, Kite Lake) and private equity (Fusion/Hermes) across multiple economic cycles and delivering a consistent investment performance track record.  Dr Fiorangelo is a strong believer in the multi-decade trends in the technology industry, as well as driving superior risk-adjusted returns for investors. He was a former university lecturer at the University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science and INSEAD, and holds a MA and DPhil in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford.

Kulbinder Garcha is Portfolio Manager / Partner of the Alantra Global Technology Fund. Kulbinder has been analysing the technology industry since the late 1990s and is recognised as a top-ranked equity research analyst, having held positions at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. Most recently, he was head of Global TMT investing at the Qatar Investment Authority, overseeing the strong performance and material growth of the sovereign wealth fund’s technology, media and telecoms exposure across asset classes. Over more than 20 years, he has advised on numerous transactions, including IPOs, private equity, M&A, as well as activist investing across the industry. Kulbinder is focused on fundamental industry and company level analysis and has developed proprietary, data-driven thematic investing strategies. He holds an MA in Mathematics/Economics from Cambridge University.

How does the global technology fund fit within Alantra’s ecosystem?

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Sycomore Asset Management – Paris

Johan Söderström joined Sycomore Asset Management in May 2020 to co-manage the new Sustainable Technology fund.  Previously he had been at Swedbank Robur for almost 10 years where he managed a large global technology fund (value >$7 billion as of 30.9.20). Before joining Swedbank, he was an analyst at H Lunden Kapitalforvaltning and a PM and analyst following tech at Brummer’s Manticore fund.  He has a PhD in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics (’02 – ‘07).

Founded in 2001, Sycomore Asset Management is known for its responsible investing expertise, managing $7.9 billion (>€6.7 bn) in AUM through open-end funds and separate managed accounts. It has a proprietary model of fundamental business analysis aiming to identify drivers of sustainable growth. The Sycomore Sustainable Technology fund was launched in September 2020.  The fund is managed by Johan Soderstrom and Gilles Sitbon alongside Sabrina Ritossa Fernandez, ESG specialist.

Where does Sycomore Asset Management sit within the Parisian investment management sector?

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Blue Whale Capital – London

Founded in 2016, Blue Whale Capital is a global equity specialist based in London and manages the LF Blue Whale Growth Fund, a global strategy unconstrained by geography. It selects 25 – 35 stocks at a time, which allows it to invest only in what its research and analysis identify as the best companies. The firm looks to buy companies that will benefit from structural growth trends, are able to significantly grow profits over time, yet also have attractive valuations. They have a long-term horizon and would like to buy a company and hold it forever but understand that sometimes the valuation becomes too expensive or the company’s prospects change.

Stephen Yiu is the co-founder of Blue Whale Capital. He is also Chief Investment Officer and Lead Manager of the LF Blue Whale Growth Fund. He was previously at Nevsky Capital (2014 – 2016) and before that at Artemis (2009 – 2013) and New Star (2007 – 2009). Before that he was a fund manager at Hargreaves Lansdown (2002-2007). Peter Hargreaves, is the Chairman and co-founder of Blue Whale Capital, as well as the co-founder and the largest shareholder of Hargreaves Lansdown, a $12 billion FTSE 100 financial services company.

Your performance since launch in September 2017, has been described as “phenomenal” – how do you explain this success?

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