13 January, 2015 | By Leah Cunningham
GAMCO Investors is to launch a UK listed closed-end fund, The Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust (the Trust), to invest in US equities.
The Trust will be managed by Gabelli Funds, LLC and is targeting a fund raise between GBP100m and GBP250 million. As part of the offering, GAMCO Investors, Inc will invest 10% of the total capital raised in the issue and it is anticipated that the Trust will begin trading in February on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol GVP.
Andrew Bell, CEO of the Witan Trust (WTAN-LSE) and the current Chairman of the Association of Investment Companies (the AIC), will be the Trust’s Chairman. The Board will also include investment trust veterans with extensive industry experience, such as Richard Fitzalan-Howard Executive Chairman of FF&P Asset Management Limited and Rudolf Bohli of RBR Capital.
Andrew Bell, Chairman of Gabelli Value Plus+ PLC, says: “I am delighted to be involved with this new launch which brings Gabelli’s distinctive investment approach to the UK in the form of an investment trust. It will provide the UK investment community with an actively managed fund that will invest in equity securities of US companies applying Gabelli’s proven fundamental bottom up Private Market Value with a Catalyst approach.”
The Trust will provide UK investors with direct access to the same broad approach that has brought GAMCO its recognition in the US GAMCO has consistently deployed its value investment methodology since 1977, delivering a 16.8% compounded return (on a gross basis) for its institutional portfolios vs. 11.8% for the S&P 500. The management team of the Trust will include Robert Leininger, Mario and Marc Gabelli, and Caesar Bryan, all veterans of Gabelli Funds, with over 20 years’ experience. It will be further supported by a team of over 30 research analysts.
“Our goal is to enter the UK market with the ‘best of’ Gabelli with this first offering. Our focus on franchise businesses with predictable and repeat business models, defendable brands and market shares, orients us towards companies with pricing power. This also tends to position our portfolio in front of a lot of merger activity”, says Robert Leininger, one of the lead members of the portfolio management team.
GAMCO believes there is a compelling opportunity for investment in US equities utilising its Private Market Value (PMV) with a Catalyst methodology. This methodology has its foundation in the principles first articulated in 1934 by the founders of modern security analysis, Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. The approach applies a holistic understanding of a company from the perspective of long-term ownership, coupled with clearly identified catalysts to realise returns in the marketplace. This process is active and dynamic, and involves the full utilisation of all available public sources of information. The Trust will emphasise undervalued US companies of all capitalisations.
While the Trust will invest in the US, GAMCO continues to have the ability to invest globally. The Gabelli organisation has operated from central London for 15 years assisting its New York headquarters in global investment idea generation.