RWC has launched a Cayman-based European Focus Fund with USD145m under management, representing support from existing investors.
The fund will be managed by the European Focus team who joined RWC from Hermes in October 2012 and replicates the existing strategy they have managed in a UK limited partnership since February 2009.
Dan Mannix (pictured), chief executive of RWC, says: “We believe there are growing opportunities for long-term investors to capitalise on the market conditions in which many companies are undervalued and overlooked. Investors are increasingly looking for different ways to access the equity markets to complement their growing books of broad index exposure. Highly concentrated portfolios that take Active management to its fullest extent are a particularly appealing way to add alpha to a broad market strategy. Constructive Activism provides genuine alpha creation as we work with a firm’s stakeholders to improve long-term shareholder returns. Institutional investors are increasingly seeing the benefit of active ownership, both in terms of straightforward alpha creation and the greater accountability it infers on the management and boards of companies.
“Our approach to active ownership in Europe focusses on engaging with companies to improve shareholder returns. It is incredibly hard to establish new strategies to operate in this space due to the importance of team size, the experience and the cost of properly deploying the strategy. Maarten, Petteri and their team have been together in their current form for a number of years and have engendered the long term support of their investors through a demonstrable ability to create alpha and returns for their investors. We will always limit both liquidity and capacity for the strategy as the best returns come from patience, tolerance for volatility and hunting in the right areas (which are often in the mid and small cap areas). As we roll out the European Focus fund we are looking to raise approximately USD750m of additional assets taking the strategy to USD1bn which offers us the optimum size to generate returns.”
The RWC European Focus team is co-managed by Maarten Wildschut and Petteri Soininen and they will follow the same investment process they have used since coming together in 2009. The strategy invests in a concentrated portfolio of 10 to 20 investments combining elements of value-based, private equity and event-driven investing. It takes a long-term active ownership approach to the companies that it invests in with a focus on fundamentally sound companies where constructive activism can help improve shareholder returns.
The strategy has a capacity of up to USD1bn and the new fund is a Cayman master-feeder fund.