Delphi Funds discovers a distribution trend of its own

The mutual funds manager has put an ex-fund selector in charge of its international expansion, starting with Finland and then the Netherlands.

Mutual funds manager Delphi Funds suggested in 2010 that it would look to build sales among professional investors away from its home markets of Norway and Sweden.

It has taken some time. Its roots as a provider of ­fundamental and technical analysis go back to 1984, although it is really only in the past decade following its acquisition by parent insurer Storebrand that its asset management focus has picked up speed.

Kurt Hauge (pictured), executive director – international sales & distribution, is responsible for all such activities outside Norway and Sweden. He has been at Delphi since 2011.

His appointment is slightly ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ as he previously spent nearly ten years as head of research and head of fund selection at Grieg Investor, the Norwegian institutional investment consultant.

A unique opportunity

He says Delphi’s approach to management offered a unique opportunity: “In my experience as a fund selector for over ten years, I believe that more than 90% of all equity managers do pretty much the same thing.

“They look at and analyse the same figures. They have all done the same sort of in-house training. You often see high staff turnover within the larger brand names, and a similar track record in performance [but] you can’t beat the street if you are the street. That is why I feel Delphi is attractive.”

The ‘unique’ approach referred to is Delphi’s practice of using both trend and fundamental analysis. Buying ­decisions are based on spotting price trends.

The products that Hauge is responsible for marketing into Finland and the Netherlands – the first ­non-domestic markets – are its Delphi Verden, Europa and Norden funds. They are being renamed Delphi Global, Europe and Nordic respectively to ­simplify communications with ­international investors. The name changes will also apply to the domestic market, Hauge adds.

Adding Finland and the ­Netherlands will take Delphi up to four markets, which Hauge says is more than enough for the time being. There is, for example, only a certain number of sales and distribution staff, and there is no specific advantage seen in immediately moving into, say, seven or eight markets. Far better, he says, to do a good job in these four for which authorisation has been given before going into other markets.

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