Not all the news from Spain’s financial sector is downbeat. Family-backed firm March Gestión de Fondos is pushing out across Europe.
Similar to the Torrenova and Vini Catena funds, last year MGF launched The Family Businesses Fund, a global equities markets investment fund.
It invests exclusively in listed family-owned companies, in which more than 25% of the shareholders belong to a single family, where at least one member of the family is involved in its management and where there is an interest in passing on the property to the next generation.
The Family Businesses Fund is commercially registered in Spain, Italy, Austria and Luxembourg. March Gestión has SICAVs in Luxembourg as a platform for distribution to European customers and institutions.
The fund is drawing attention because its holdings combine the philosophy of family businesses (FBs) with the transparency and liquidity of listed entities.
More than 80% of all the world’s business are family run, and historically, family businesses outperform and have better earnings stability than non family businesses.
Far from being restricted to micro stocks, some of the world’s biggest enterprises – such as Arcelor Mittal and ThuyssenKrupp – are included in the fund. FBs are also considered valuable defensive holdings, since they usually have the long-term strategies and low leverage ratios that endure through recessionary times.
Jiménez believes that the March family’s own history makes the asset manager an especially suitable long-term partner and investor for family owned businesses.
MGF’s ambitions have been announced just as analysts are suggesting an upturn for European equity markets, where many companies are lean and cash-rich after the austerity measures of recent years.
In spite of testing markets, MGF has maintained steady growth in both assets under management, and its investor base. It is now taking its proven process and fresh ideas to new markets.
The Fundación Juan March
Created in 1955 by the founder of Banca March, Juan March Ordinas, the €2bn Juan March Foundation is a family-run, cultural heritage institution active in the field of humanistic and scientific culture.
At its Madrid headquarters, an exhibition room, libraries on music and theatre and the Centre for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences form part of the Instituto Juan March de Estudios e Investigaciones which promotes specialised research and cooperation between Spanish and foreign scientists.
The Fundación Juan March is also the owner of the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art in Cuenca, which houses a permanent exhibition of more than a hundred paintings and sculptures from the abstract generation of the 1950s and 1960s, among which are works by Millares, Tàpies, Sempere and Saura.
The Museu Fundación Juan March (Juan March Foundation Museum) in Palma completes the range of artistic facilities by exhibiting a permanent collection of contemporary Spanish art with works by Joan Miró, Juan Gris, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, José María Sicilia and Miquel Barceló, as well as other temporary exhibitions.
Vina Catena Wine Fund advisory board
LUIS GARCÍA DE LA NAVARRA. President of the Madrid Association of Sommeliers (AMS), and National Gastronomy Prize winner in 2004. He recently set up his own business in Madrid, Restaurante Vinoteca García de la Navarra.
ENRIQUE VALERO. CEO of Abadía Retuerta. Among other positions Valero has been marketing and communication manager of Arco Bodegas, CEO of United Wineries International and marketing manager of González-Byass.
VÍCTOR DE LA SERNA. Founder of the newspaper El Mundo. He was the first Spaniard to graduate at Columbia’s University School of Journalism. A wine producer, he has twice been awarded the National Gastronomy Prize. He is a member of the International Wine Academy, the Spanish Royal Gastronomy Academy and of the Grand Jury Européen.
ANDRÉS ARDID. General manager of Lavinia, a new concept wine outlet with a product range extending from the most prestigious and historical references to countries little-known for their wines, such as India or Brazil. Lavinia has stores in Madrid, Paris, Geneva, Kiev and Odessa.