European equities specialist enlists Charles River systems

European smaller companies investment specialist Montanaro Asset Management has enlisted an IT system and services from Charles River Development, in a sign of investors outsourcing activities to allow to them to focus wholly on the challenging markets.

The $1.3bn London-based asset manager will use Charles River’s Investment Management System across its pan-European equity operations.

Montarano runs a number of European equities funds, plus six segregated European mandates, including for France’s Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites, the Church of England, University of London, the Medical Research Council.

Charles Montanaro, CEO of Montanaro, said the firm he founded was recognised for its expertise in investing in pan-European quoted small caps, “rather than in handling day-to-day system and technology challenges.

“Charles River will now manage and host our portfolio management, trading and compliance systems. We have come to know Charles River well during the implementation process and are looking forward to working closely with them in the future”.

Tom Driscoll (pictured), managing director, Global, Charles River Development, said Charles River’s Managed Services allows clients to “focus internal resources on key business activities”.

For European managers, this includes some of the most challenging markets for years.

The FTSE Eurotop 300 index has risen by about 10% since early October, but European share falls were double digits last year, and Skandia noted a “mass exodus” in the fourth quarter of 2011 from European equity funds on its Investment Solutions platform.

Skandia’s Graham Bentley said: “The flight away from European equities is a short-term knee jerk reaction, in response to negative sentiment created by the eurozone debt crisis. so once again this shows the pitfalls of trying to time the market.”

In enlisting Charles River to help it focus on these markets, Montanaro joins more than 50 other firms already using the system and service.

The service will provide automated portfolio management, trading and order management, and compliance, as well as disaster recovery services.

Charles River says the system in hosted format can reduce costs and increase return on investment.

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