Richard Pease is on the hunt for more managers to join the newly-formed Crux Asset Management, saying his wants to expand beyond his European expertise.
The prominent manager is three months into the launch of Crux, having left Henderson Global Investors in October last year, but taking his former European Special Situations fund with him in the move.
Pease has also just launched another European fund, alongside fellow former Henderson manager and Crux fund manager James Milne. The new fund will mimic the European Growth fund the duo used to run at Henderson, which is now run by Simon Rowe.
But Pease wants to grow the asset manager beyond these funds.
“I want to bed this new fund down but we have thought about doing a pan-European fund for European investors and I’d like to add to the team outside of Europe, given time,” he says.
In particular, he says he is considering UK or global fund managers to complement the existing European exposure. “I want like-minded people with a bit of a value bias,” he adds.
But Pease says he doesn’t expect to have anything solid until May next year at the earliest.
“It’s very early days, we’ve not had meaningful conversations, we’re just sniffing around the edges, we’ve been rung by a few people but nothing is likely to happen until May next year,” he adds.
In the shorter term, Pease is focused on the new European fund, which officially launches on October 12th. He is hopeful of raising £50m initially for the fund, having had promising noises from existing investors.
“I hope we get traction enough to make it not embarrassing. We’ve got a lot of support but not got any absolute undertakings,” he says. “Clients wanted us to launch the fund.”
However, he is not phased by going up against his former fund at Henderson, which has £978.5m in assets and is run in a similar style, saying he is not concerned about the competition.
“I see it as friendly competition, I’m just interested in decent returns for investors, I don’t aim to shoot the lights out,” he says.
The £1bn European Special Situations fund has now bedded down at Crux, says Pease, although it lost £175m of assets in the transfer from Henderson to its new home.
The transfer took longer than expected, says Pease, meaning the team missed out on valuable marketing time when European funds were in favour. But since the move to Crux the fund has taken on another £50m net assets and Pease says he is hopeful of making back the lost assets in the short-term.