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Alternative Market Briefing

To focus or not to focus? When asset managers try their hands at too many things

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Fund managers could be tempted by investor requests to do too many things in their pursuit of performance that they can lose focus on their core strength and purpose, stated participants of the latest Opalesque 2017 Nordic Roundtable.

Henri Österlund, founder of activist investing firm Accendo Capital, said that he has been getting plenty of questions and demands from prospective investors that tend to veer away from his primary goal, which is to look for good investment ideas that generate profits.

He said, "Let me explain by reflecting on our experience and what people are asking us to do. We have been going through different phases where people came to us and say, 'Yes, it's a nice product, but it should be market neutral!', or 'How are you hedged against these currencies and those events?', or 'What's your overall view on the equity market?'"

After hearing all these questions and demand for some time now, Österlund said that he [as activist investor] took the position not to focus on other people's concerns, "because that's not our work." He added, "Our work is to find good investment ideas, invest in them and then make sure that the portfolio is performing, and by that I mean that the companies are operationally performing well and creating value. And that's our niche, our strength and our stra......................

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