Abante Asesores’ Smart-ISH Project to nourish growth

Abante Asesores’ Smart-ISH Project recently added the Key Capital Ocho fund to its funds universe raising to 126 its number of strategies.

The Smart-ISH Project of Abante Asesores was launched in 2011 with the aim of boosting niche and boutique managers facing tough competition against larger asset managers or banking entities in Spain.

Abante Asesores’ fund selector Inmaculada Bresco (pictured), who – alongside the company’s CIO Ángel Olea – oversees the Smart-ISH Project, defines the initiative as an “incubator for new managers”, since its reason for being is the bet on Spanish funds that are actively managed by those exhibiting good management skills and talent, but who need that boost.

“There are very good managers in Spain but unfortunately they need greater visibility, as sometimes they are not even known by the industry.

However, although the number of boutiques in Spain is increasingly growing, it is still relatively low compared with other European countries,” says Bresco.

Smart-ISH Project

There are now 126 funds included in the universe, of which 43% are equity funds, 34% flexible equity products, 21% multi-strategy, and 2% fixed income funds, which are monitored and followed up through ongoing reporting.

The Key Capital Ocho fund, is a global equity strategy, which managed by Alfredo Álvarez-Pickman and Pierre Danilowiez, which has the option of including derivatives.

The starting point of Smart-ISH selection process consists of identifying the managers behind those funds actively managed, always acting under the conviction that the person who manages the fund is much more relevant to the fund’s performance than the way the market where it invests behaves.

Fund managers must meet three requirements in order to qualify for entering in Abante “selected list”: firstly they need to be Spanish, secondly they must have part of their own money invested in the fund they manage, and thirdly, they need to manage funds actively. “We have had good experiences so far with actively managed funds, which implies we may meet managers regularly in order to fully understand their investment strategy,” highlights Bresco.

Smart-ISH Fondo de Gestores FI

The Smart-ISH Fondo de Gestores FI is a fund of funds, launched in 2011, whose investment universe encompasses the funds in the Project.

Managed by Ángel Olea, it is an open-ended fund chiefly targeting capital appreciation. It invests at least 50% of its assets in other funds as long as they are run by Spanish managers and have AUM below €40m at the time of each first investment decision.

The FoF may invest in equity, fixed income and money market instruments through direct and indirect investment – but it must invest in actively managed funds since they can be separated from their reference indexes.

Bresco emphasises the need to keep the fund of fund’s size relatively small as otherwise it would contradict the main reason by which it was created.

“If the Smart-ISH Fondo de Gestores FI reaches €20m in assets under management – which had already €15.93m by 21 February 2018 – we might probably consider to close it.

“We want a high quality fund but not too big. We do not want the fund to grow up disproportionately as we aim at continue investing in managers with small funds to boost and promote them. By doing so, we are likely to provide all the Smart-ISH Universe’s members the same opportunities to join the fund’s portfolio.”

Eugenia Jimenez
Eugenia Jiménez speaks Spanish and is Iberia Correspondent for Investment Europe covering Spain & Portugal, as well as assisting with coverage of Italy. She holds a UK NCTJ- accredited Multimedia News Reporting course and studied Journalism at the University of Sevilla. She has worked for local media organisations in Sevilla and Málaga, mainly in broadcasting as a news reporter, among other roles. She has also worked for a local newspaper in Sevilla, reporting on current affairs, local government and culture.

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