Known for her work as a fund researcher, Angela Ashton has begun sharpening the business profile and sales pitch of Australia’s first activist fund.

Ashton has begun promoting Sandon Capital, a Sydney-based activist fund, to specific investors in her work with Fund Host, a provider of administration and distribution support for boutique funds managers.

An experienced researcher employed by ratings houses Aegis, van Eyk and IWL (which was bought by Commonwealth Bank in late 2007) before a short tenure with Queensland Investment Corporation as a strategist, Ashton said Sandon Capital would not seek a retail rating because of its short track record of less than one year and small amount of funds under management.

“We’re trying to find smaller institutional investors or financial planning groups that will act without research,” Ashton said.

An emerging manager, Sandon Capital looks for small and micro-cap companies whose share prices are trading far below what are perceived to be their intrinsic values, and targets them if a viable strategy to increase their market value is clearly visible.

It aims to engineer financial catalysts for change within target companies – such as share buybacks, special dividends or balance sheet restructurings – and prefers to engage companies behind closed doors instead of waging public campaigns.

 

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