Ex-Hermes Manager Preps Long/Short Euro. Fund

Feb 20 2009 | 2:00am ET

Marco Ricci, the former chief investment officer of the Hermes European Focus Fund, is readying a long/short European hedge fund with an activist bent to debut sometime in May.

Marinvest One primarily invests in liquid European shares. Ricci said the fund will analyze stocks with market capitalizations between €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) and €20 billion (US$25.2 billion) from the bottom up to analyze their trends and earnings potential.

“There are plenty of attractively valued stocks, even in this market,” he said. “I have been through bear markets before, and ultimately stocks with strong fundamentals will perform. The purpose of our fund is to identify those companies and control the volatility of our investments through a hedging overlay to isolate the long-term alpha.”

In addition, Ricci said Marinvest One intends to engage in shareholder activism in an institutional and relational way, rather than an outright acrimonious way.

“There are companies where the view of shareholders, if properly formulated, can be very valuable to managers who have been taken by surprise along with everyone else by the market turns,” he said.

The fund is currently housed on PCE Investors’ platform, which has US$1.6 billion in assets across 21 funds and 15 teams. Ricci is looking for seed investors for his new offering and is willing to negotiate “significant benefits” for seeders such as access to future capacity and possibly equity in the hedge fund.

Prior to Hermes, Ricci was a European fund manager for Morgan Grenfell (Deutsche Asset Management) in London.

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