Scandinavian asset manager Skagen Funds has launched a global equity fund focusing on companies subject to activist campaigns.
Skagen Insight is a 30 to 40 stock portfolio that will adopt a "shadow activism" approach, identifying companies that are likely to attract activist investor attention in a bid to unlock value through the structural, strategic, operational, financial or governance changes that subsequently occur.
Tomas Johansson will run the fund, applying Skagen's value-based, bottom-up approach to stock selection. He joined from European activist fund Cevian Capital in 2015.
The fund aims to invest in companies subject to the most attractive activist campaigns globally, resulting in a more diversified portfolio than a traditional activist fund, while seeking to deliver higher returns for a lower cost.
Some names held in the fund include Japan-based industrials company Teisen, US sports bar and restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings, AIG, Ericsson and E.ON.
The fund was incepted on 21 August but opened officially today (4 December).
Skagen Insight is a UCITS-compliant fund and should be listed on Transact, Standard Life Elevate, Raymond James Investment Services and Pershing platforms in due course.
Portfolio manager Johansson believes activist interventions can benefit shareholders through the corporate changes that often ensue.
But he added: "The barriers to entry of direct exposure to activist campaigns are often significant and out of the reach of many investors.
"By employing a shadow activism approach, we believe we are able to offer investors a highly attractive proposition that allows them to benefit from activist efforts within a more liquid, diversified and therefore lower risk structure."
Based in Norway, Skagen had €8.5bn in assets under management at the end of November.
Helped by pension freedoms
Completed merger in August
'Very volatile commodity'
£25bn single strategy business
Strategic partnership with Ventre and Zagame