Montanaro among three boutiques selected for £300m fund

Council pension fund manager Brunel Partnership has selected Montanaro, Kempen American Century out of a 33-strong long-list to manage £300m in assets held in a new mandate.

The Global Small Cap Equity fund will formally open today as the second of four planned by the house this October and following the launch of the £1.2bn Diversifying Returns fund last week, with assets managed by JP Morgan, UBS, Lombard Odier and William Blair.

David Cox, head of listed markets at Brunel, said: ‘The Global Small Cap Equities Fund gives our clients access to a range of investment approaches, with low correlation between our chosen managers.

‘The manager allocations reflect how the fund is constructed to ensure a balancing of conviction, risk and liquidity considerations.’

Brunel Partnerships runs around £30bn on behalf of the councils of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire, in addition to the Environment Agency.

Montanaro chief executive Cedric Durant des Aulnois added: ‘We are delighted to have been selected by the Brunel Pension Partnership after a thorough and rigorous due diligence process.

‘We look forward to mobilising our 30 years of experience in quoted small cap to create value for Brunel and its clients in the years ahead. All of us at Montanaro are truly excited by this opportunity.’

While remaining best known for its UK small and mid-cap experience, Montanaro has run its European fund for 20 years and in 2018 launched the global ESG screened Better World fund in 2018.

It followed that up with the unfiltered LF Montanaro Global Select fund at the beginning of this year, which has returned 22% since launch.

In a recent interview the firm’s founder and lead manager, Citywire AA-rated Charles Montanaro, said: ‘When we launched the fund I wanted to have a “Nick Train” approach where you never sell anything.

‘The problem is, we’ve come across more new companies that we like. At the moment we’re targeting a 10% turnover per year, but hopefully in five years it will be zero.’

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