Stonehage Fleming in Gemini link; opens fund to market

Stonehage Fleming, said to be the largest multi-family office in the EMEA region, has agreed a distribution partnership with Gemini Investment Management, and opened up its  Global Best Ideas Equity Fund to the broader market by waiving its usual £3.5m minimum investment.

This means that UK retail and institutional investors will for the first time have access to the fund, previously only available to London-based Stonehage Fleming’s UHNW clients, Stonehage Fleming said in a statement on Thursday.

“This move marks the first time that Stonehage Fleming has worked with a UK distributor, and is the first stage in a wider plan to distribute the Dublin-listed UCITS fund across Europe,” the statement said.

Based in London, Gemini was founded in 2009, and specialises in building distribution platforms and strategies for asset management businesses in the wholesale and retail space in the UK, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.

‘High conviction strategy’

Stonehage Fleming’s Global Best Ideas Equity fund (GBIEF) is managed by Gerrit Smit, pictured, and currently has around £197.5m in assets under management from the multi-family office’s existing UHNW clients. The fund has a high conviction strategy, currently holds twenty five stocks, and its stated objective is to achieve “a long term growth in capital and income by developing a focused portfolio of high quality listed companies from around the world”.

Current investments include such blue chips stocks as Alphabet, Visa and Accenture, as well as lesser known businesses such as L Brands and Becton Dickinson, according to Stonehage.

Under Smit’s management, the fund has returned  33.7% to investors since inception (16/8/13) and 16.7% in 2015, compared to 12.8% and 2.6% respectively for the Lipper Global Equity sector.

In the statement announcing the distribution partnership with Gemini Investment, Smit said he was “delighted that our partnership with Gemini will enable the Global Best Ideas Equity Fund to be made available to a wider range of investors”.

He said the fund’s performance was attributable to the “rigorous, research-driven approach” he and his team take when selecting stocks, “and our ability to discern value in the markets”.

“We only buy businesses with sustainable growth potential, a strong management team and a particular competitive edge.

“We run a concentrated portfolio, but one that has exposure to a wide range of sectors and geographies, thereby allowing investors to benefit from ‘best in breed’ businesses worldwide.”

Stonehage Fleming was created by the merger last September of two well-established family office entities, Stonehage and Fleming Family & Partners. Stonehage had been set up in 1976 as a “diaspora vehicle” by a group of South African families who were looking to leave their homeland’s apartheid regime behind, while Fleming was founded in 2000, and had offices in places like Moscow and Hong Kong as well as London, where it was based, and Zurich. The Stonehage Fleming Family merger was described by the Financial Times in 2014, when it was first announced, as “a share exchange deal, where South African industrialism meets old British money”.

Stonehage Fleming currently advises on more than US$40bn of assets, on behalf of around 250 families, out of 13 offices in 8 jurisdictions, according to its website. Its investment business looks after more than US$11bn for families and charities. “We help international families manage their wealth and protect their legacy for generations to come”, it says.

Stonehage Fleming’s claim to be the largest multi-family office in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is based on its breadth of services, geographic reach, and assets under management, advice and administration.

To see a Morningstar fact sheet on the Stonehage Global Best Ideas Equity Fund, click here.

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