Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – The title for the “Best Nordic Hedge Fund” rewards the best fund in the Nordic hedge fund universe across all categories. Undeniably, this award is the crown jewel handed out at the Nordic Hedge Award and is likely the most desired recognition in the Nordic hedge fund industry. At this year’s Nordic Hedge Award, Ress Life Investments came out on top, securing the title for the “Best Nordic Hedge Fund Overall” award, along with the “Best Nordic Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund.”
Winner: Ress Life Investments
“Fantastic!,” says Jonas Mårtenson, the founder of Resscapital. In a comment on the distinction, Mårtenson tells HedgeNordic that the award “is a Grand Slam for the company and the whole team.” Ress Life Investments, an alternative investment fund investing in the secondary market for U.S. life insurance policies, is a new name on the list of winners in the main award category. “This award gives us recognition for our long-term focus and established presence in our niche market,” adds Mårtenson.
Resscapital’s approach to investing in life insurance policies seeks to deliver an annual return of seven percent after fees over time with limited correlation to traditional asset classes. As “the main risk factor in a life insurance portfolio – longevity – is fundamentally uncorrelated to other major asset classes,” Ress Life Investments has successfully managed to deliver solid and uncorrelated returns to investors. In the past three years through the end of 2019, the fund overseen by Anton Pozine, Head of Portfolio Management, delivered an annualized return of over eight percent.
According to Mårtenson, the two trophies collected by Ress Life Investments “give recognition for the whole team, in particular for our two portfolio managers,” Anton Pozine and Fredrik Thor. “Anton Pozine has done a tremendous job since inception in 2011 when he started managing the Ress Life Investment fund, his dedication is greatly appreciated by us and our investors,” says Mårtenson. “Fredrik Thor joined us last year and, with his long investment experience, has greatly contributed as well in supporting our accelerating growth.”
Mårtenson and his team at Resscapital have also expressed their appreciation for the commitment of their investors. “We are very grateful to our all investors for the trust they have given us,” says Mårtenson. “This award would not have been possible without the commitment of our long-term Swedish institutional investors that dared to think differently and believed in our team and the potential of our strategy in the early days.” The team at Resscapital aims to “continue to deliver uncorrelated risk-adjusted returns during many years and consolidate our position in the alternatives space.”
Second place: Accendo Capital
Activist investor Accendo Capital stands on the podium in the “Best Nordic Hedge Fund Overall” category for the third time in the previous four editions of the Nordic Hedge Award. Accendo, an activist fund that maintains a very focused portfolio of predominantly small- and mid-cap companies from Northern Europe, was among last year’s best performers in the Nordic hedge fund industry with a full-year return of about 46 percent.
“It is gratifying to be recognized for excellence among our many outstanding peers and to be featured in HedgeNordic, the leading media platform for Nordic alternative investments and a team that really covers the space well,” Elise Auer, Director of Investor Relations at Accendo, tells HedgeNordic. High portfolio concentration is usually accompanied by elevated volatility in returns, but short-term fluctuations are not on the Accendo team’s minds. Henri Österlund, who manages the fund alongside Mark H. Shay and Kai Tavakka, recently told HedgeNordic that the main focus is “to find the best ideas and actively engage with those investments to make sure they become solid investments in the long term.”
High concentration can be equally good or bad for fund performance in the shorter term, but can lead to outperformance over the longer term if targeted improvements are combined with good stock selection. “Our activist, high-conviction approach involves holding a concentrated portfolio of Nordic listed, technology-focused small-cap companies for many years,” explains Auer. “While many funds use portfolio diversification as a risk management tool, our approach is to deal with risk at the company level through active engagement, foresight, shareholder focus, and helping our companies allocate capital rationally and efficiently.”
Accendo Capital has delivered an annualized return of about ten percent since launching in early 2008, managing to provide annual returns of over 20 percent in six of the past 12 years. Accendo recorded its second-best yearly performance on record last year. “We think long-term with our investments, and it is great to have investors on board who share the same objectives,” Auer said earlier this year.
Third Place: Rhenman Healthcare Equity L/S
Rhenman Healthcare Equity L/S, this year’s winner of the “Best Nordic Equity Hedge Fund” award, takes the third spot on the podium in the “Best Nordic Hedge Fund Overall” category. The healthcare-focused long/short equity fund managed by Henrik Rhenman and Susanna Urdmark stands on the podium in this category for the fourth time.
“The Nordic Hedge Award is a great thing to receive and be nominated for,” founder and CIO Henrik Rhenman said at a previous Nordic Hedge Award event. “It is the most prestigious award in the Nordic region, and there is no comparison,” he added. With 13 awards under its belt, Rhenman Healthcare Equity L/S has collected the highest number of trophies over the eight editions of the Nordic Hedge Award.
Rhenman Healthcare Equity L/S has generated an annualized return of about 17 percent since launching more than ten years ago. The Stockholm-based fund is one the best performing hedge funds in the Nordics, thanks to its high net exposure to the global healthcare and biotech sectors over time. “In our specific case, we have had a positive view on the health care sector since the fund started in June 2009,” founding partner Carl Grevelius previously told HedgeNordic. “We believe innovation is a great investment opportunity and we have, therefore, made a very conscious decision to have a high net exposure on a fund level and accept the volatility that it brings.”
The “Best Nordic Hedge Fund Overall” award category was supported and presented by CME Group.