Fortress Centaurus Ready To Manage Outside Money

Jun 19 2014 | 12:44pm ET

Two months after merging with Fortress Investment Group, the former Centaurus Capital is throwing open the doors to its new hedge fund.

The London-based team, now known as Fortress Centaurus, has begun marketing the European-focused event-driven to outside investors, the Financial Times reports. Centaurus, which once boasted US$5 billion in assets, hasn’t managed outside money since returning client capital last year.

The new fund employs a substrategy of Centaurus’ flagship Global Event Opportunities Fund—up 28% this year—aiming to take advantage of event-driven and activist opportunities in Europe.

“The amount of money being run by on-the-ground event-driven managers in Europe is not consummate to the size of the market and the opportunity, with event-driven investing still significantly underrepresented in Europe and Asia versus the U.S.,” Randy Freeman, the Centaurus founder now serving as chief investment officer of Fortress Centaurus, told the FT. “It is hard to argue that companies are better run in Europe or Asia than in the U.S., so it seems that in most cases it is simply that there are just fewer investors with experience in event-driven strategies on the ground in those markets.”

Don’t expect Freeman to use his new position at one of the world’s largest money managers to become more aggressive in his dealings with those companies.

“We have a rifle approach rather than a machine gun approach to activism, with a small number of positions that we concentrate on alongside the rest of our portfolio,” Freeman said. “It usually starts with a normal investment where we have become frustrated over time, and instead of voting with our feet and selling the shares we try to encourage changes at the company.”


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