Pengana appoints US fund manager to ethical funds

Pengana Capital has appointed US fund manager, Axiom Investments, to manage two of its international ethical equity funds after its chief investment officer and portfolio manager of the funds, Jordan Cvetanovski, and deputy portfolio manager, Steven Glass, left the business in March.

Speaking to Money Management, Pengana chief executive, Russel Pillemer said choosing the Connecticut-based Axiom was the “optimal solution” as it was an “extremely well-regarded fund manager” for the Pengana International Ethical Fund and the Pengana International Ethical Opportunities Fund.

The two funds would be renamed as Pengana Axiom International Ethical Fund and Pengana Axiom International Ethical Fund (Hedged).

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Pillemer said the fund made the choice by looking at what teams were around to bring on and who they could joint venture with.

“Externally, this is the highest quality solution for the fund. This is the optimal solution for us and I think you can see that by looking at the quality of the team, looking at the investors and their credibility, their track record as well and looking at the support they get from the institutional gate keepers and you can see just a very high quality offering,” he said.

“So, this is the optimal team for us to manage the strategy.”

The two funds would maintain its ethical framework and would overlay on top of Axiom’s own environmental, social, and governance framework.

Pillemer noted that the fund’s investors had stuck by the fund as there were no major outflows, and were “waiting eagerly to see what team we would bring in”.

“We expect Axiom to deliver very well for investors and we have a high degree of confidence in them as they have delivered in the past. And we hope our investors will be happy with the solution,” he said.

“We think this will be an easy transition as it is a high-quality manager with a long-term track record, which has lots of credibility in the marketplace. We will need to get out there and make sure we tell our investors all about Axiom.”

Pillemer said Cvetanovski and Glass left the firm as they “decided they wanted to do their own thing outside of Pengana and wanted to take a different direction to us. We’ve moved on and we don’t know what they’ll be doing as we are focused on delivering a great solution”.

The pair also managed the Pengana International Fund and Pengana International Equities fund which Pillemer said would also be managed by another external manager.

“We split the mandates in two because we wanted to give our investors more opportunity for different styles of investing and Axiom and our other manager are highly regarded by institutions and big managers but they do things quite differently,” he said.

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