LONDON Nov 7 Asset manager RWC Partners is
hoping to raise up to $700 million by opening its European
activist fund, which takes a hand-on approach to companies it
buys into, to investors outside the UK.
With institutional investors facing criticism from clients
for failing to drive improvements at companies, so-called
activist investors are hoping to attract funds by taking a more
RWC's European team, which already runs $300 million in
assets, is launching a new Cayman fund open to investors outside
the UK, the London-based firm said on Wednesday.
The strategy is headed by Maarten Wildschut and Petteri
Soininen, who joined from Hermes after RWC bought Hermes Focus
Asset Management, its activist unit, in September, and has a
capacity of $1 billion across the UK and Cayman funds.
Shares in Danone SA rose on Wednesday after press
reports that another activist investor, Nelson Peltz, had bought
a 1 percent stake in the food group.
"The approach has generated significant ... returns over
time, demonstrating that it creates value for investors," said
Dan Mannix, Principal of RWC.
RWC's fund will take a long-term approach and work with the
management teams of fundamentally sound companies to help
improve shareholder returns, the company said.
The fund will concentrate on holdings in 10 to 20 companies.
The existing $300 million fund is up 25 percent in the first ten
months of this year and has returned 122 percent since Hermes
launched it in February 2009.
"Whilst the fund will take substantial positions in
companies, and is among the top 10 shareholders in the vast
majority of its positions, it is worth noting that the
Constructive Activist approach is not dependent on being the
largest shareholder," RWC's Wildschut said.
The fund currently has declared stakes in Dutch engineering
company Grontmij and German cement and mining
technology company KHD Humboldt Wedag.