RWC launches fund for Hermes activist investor team

Grand CaymanLondon-based asset manager RWC Partners has established a Cayman Islands-based European Focus Fund to be managed by the team that joined from Hermes Fund Managers in October 2012.

The team formerly operated as Hermes Focus Asset Management and was devoted to shareholder activism, campaigning for corporate change at companies such as Vodafone and Siemens.

With $145 million (€110 billion) of assets seeded by existing investors, the master-feeder fund will replicate the strategy the team has managed in a UK limited partnership since 2009.

“Our approach to active ownership in Europe focuses on engaging with companies to improve shareholder returns,” says Dan Mannix, who became RWC chief executive in February. “It is incredibly hard to establish new strategies to operate in this space due to the importance of team size, the experience and the cost of properly deploying the strategy.”

Mannix replaced Peter Harrison, who has taken up a senior position at Schroders, which acquired a stake in RWC Partners in 2010.

Mannix says he hopes the firm will raise an additional $750 million for the fund.

©2013 funds europe