Avenir eyes insto investors

Avenir Capital is looking to win institutional investors for its 'private equity mindset' approach to equities, after previously running capital raised mostly by word-of-mouth.

The fund invests in 18 international stocks, with a longer-term focus similar to private equity, according to founder and now chief investment officer and managing director Adrian Warner.

"We don't want to buy broken down businesses with structural challenges," Warner said.

"We are looking for mispricing in the market in companies that have a stable underlying value and then we take a long-term approach to investing, not making short-term decisions based on volatility in the market."

Avenir's research says even during years of low volatility, almost a third of the stocks listed on the S&P/500 can see their value fluctuate by 50%.

Warner started Avenir in 2011, after nearly two decades of working in private equity in the US, Asia and Australia. He initially only invested his family's capital but attracted investments from his circle, through word of mouth.

Almost all of the investors in the $30 million fund are wholesale and high-net-worth investors, barring a small institutional investor.

It joined Challenger's multi-boutique arm Fidante Partners in February 2017, to leverage off its distribution and operation support. A few months later, in September, it made its fund accessible to retail investors.

"We would be approached by endowment funds in the US who were interested in our strategy but we did not have the operational breadth and compliance at institutional level to take that on," Warner said.

The fund has added $5 million in funds under management since joining Fidante.

It is looking to add new institutional investors in the next six months. This year it will also focus on platform listings, adviser and asset consultant relationships and ratings.

"The strategy's capacity is very scalable. Even if we were to hold 25 positions without putting more than 10% of the fund into one stock, and require the liquidity to get in and out of a positioning in 30 days without taking up more than a third of the daily trading volume, we would still have 2500 companies representing $50 trillion of market cap to pick from," Warner said.

The boutique is currently hiring a replacement for investment associate Patricia Queipo who left late last year for personal reasons.

Read more: Avenir CapitalAdrian WarnerAsiaAustraliaChallengerFidante PartnersPatricia QueipoS&P
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