Former Neptune manager Rob Burnett has unveiled plans for the first fund launch from his new investment business, Lightman Investment Management, which has received FCA authorisation and was set up at the start of this year.
Burnett, who previously headed up analysis of the global financials sector at Neptune, is bullish on European banks, where he says there are "good opportunities at these prices", naming SocGen and Intesa Sanpaolo as potentially interesting.
"European banks have had a tough decade but they are not likely to suffer in the coming year. They are extremely cheap, dividends are high and they are moving in the right direction operationally," he said.
While there are 119 funds in the IA Europe ex UK sector, where the Lightman fund will reside, Burnett asserted the new fund will be differentiated as there are "few funds running money in this way any more".
"A lot of investment strategies have coalesced into paying higher prices for securities. In the European equities peer group there are few funds focusing on paying lower prices.
"We look at the fund's stock commonality versus the peer group and it is very low, sometimes non-existent, based on our model portfolio. The highest overlap with any other fund is 25%. So we can provide true diversification," he explained.
Burnett will work alongside quantitative analyst Luis Barreiro and investment analyst Sumit Mittal, who will also oversee the
firm's compliance. Phil Horton, who also previously worked at Neptune, is Lightman's sales director.
On the firm's choice of name, Burnett said it came about from the team's desire to "shine a light on parts of the market that have been obscured for the past few years".
He explained: "Europe has been out of the limelight, as has our specific style. Furthermore, clarity and transparency are in our brand values."