(Pictured: Kerry Series)
Kerry Series and key staff at Eight Investment Partners (8IP), the boutique small cap and Asian equities specialist, have bought back the firm from major shareholder Sanlam.
Sanlam, a South African financial services firm, backed the establishment of 8IP by Kerry Series after earlier acquiring another Australian boutique, Atom Funds Management.
Following the latest deal, Sanlam will invest an extra $20 million in the small-cap fund, managed by Series and senior portfolio manager Stephen Walsh. Nial Gooding, based in Hong Kong, is the senior research analyst on the China fund.
Both strategies have been strong outperformers in recent years. The small-cap fund returned 21 per cent in 2013 and 9 per cent so far this year. The China fund has returned 160 per cent over the past five years, which is about 70 percentage points above its index.
Rick Steele, 8IP’s chief executive, said the ownership change would enable he firm to provide greater equity incentives to the investment team.
8IP is in the process of launching a concentrated – 20 stocks – version of its small-cap fund. The manager’s style is to invest in turnaround situations and “stars”. It recently recruited a new BDM, Antony Blazey, from Melbourne-based OC Funds Management.