Rhône-Poulence goes for style not beauty
The £850m pension fund of the UK subsidiary of French chemical giant Rhône-Poulenc has appointed fledgling, value-driven London-based investment house Phoenix Asset Managers Partnership (PAMP) to a £20m (e32.7m) active UK equities brief.
Nathan Gelber, chief investment officer at Stamford Associates, advisers to the manager selection, says the company’s merger with German group Hoechst prompted a review of the fund’s investment approach and the subsequent switch of manager.
Significantly, he notes the mandate was not awarded on a beauty parade selection basis. Gelber explains: “Our approach is that clients do not go through a beauty parade and never will. We don’t believe in them. This was a manager recommendation by ourselves driven by predominantly qualitative considerations such as experience, independent thinking, investment focus and style.”
He says Stamford looked at four managers before deciding that Phoenix provided the best overall fit with the fund’s incumbent managers.
Gelber says before the award assets under management in Phoenix amounted to around £7m. The company invests on a fundamental value basis with concentrated portfolios of no more than 50 securities.