March Gestión de Fondos (MGF), the boutique asset management arm of Madrid-based Banca March, is poised to start selling its Sicav fund range in the UK, having already expanded into Austria and Italy. Germany and Switzerland are other imminent targets.
The firm is growing rapidly, having increased assets under management by some 30% in the last year alone, and investing in seven strategies through a range of uxembourg and Spanish Sicavs.
He says the firm offers what he believes most investors appreciate in difficult markets – a consistent cautious process, where the interests of the managers are properly aligned with the investors, and on reasonable terms.
Consistency builds expertise. “Each year there is a change in fashionable investments. One year it is total return, then it is absolute return, or whatever. But we have been doing the same thing for 50 years and our track record proves that it works.”
The March principles of co-investment are an alignment of interest, transparency and simplicity,” he explains. “At other firms, if the fund runs into trouble they close it and management just moves on to re-launch another fund with the latest idea. We cannot afford to make such a mistake because it is the family’s money, and our own money, involved.”
Jimenez says it has been proven over and over that the quality of management of an investment product, and its future performance, are closely related to the ethos among the professionals involved in its day-to-day running.
He identifies “experience, humility, teamworking and commitment in the pursuit of profitability for customers” as key drivers for those individuals. Each person’s “unique perspective” is exploited to the full in the investment process.
MGF’s investment philosophy combines long-term value creation with wealth protection, based on the conviction that active management (not replicating benchmark rates or managing with high “tracking errors”) is an important source of added value.
The combination of macroeconomic and financial markets analysis, together with the valuation of companies, is the most critical process for the success of investments.
Jiminez says the team can only achieve great results in the medium and long-term if it can systematically detect inefficiencies in the price of assets and make the most of the opportunities those generate.
Analysis of macroeconomic environment and financial markets is derived from a recognised number of information sources, both private and public, as well as the experience of the investment team, which includes invited lecturers from universities and prestigious business schools. An Investments Committee is regulated by the MGF’s Terms of Reference and is chaired by the firm’s Director of Investments.
All MGF funds are Ucits structures, offering daily liquidity and a well understood and globally recognised framework. For funds with more than one share class, there is free transfer between them, and investors suffer no subscription or redemption fees.
Jimenez says the commitment to simplicity means that most MGF funds are “plain vanilla equity funds”. “We don’t use structured products or any sort of currency or credit derivatives and we are always aiming to keep costs low. Investment starts from as little as €10 in some share classes.”