Anthony Macdonald, Sarah Thompson and Kanika Sood
Apr 28, 2022 – 9.33pm
There’s a new kid on the Aussie small caps block. Elvest, founded by former Clime Investment Management stockpickers Adrian Ezquerro and Jonathan Wilson, has set up shop on Sydney’s Martin Place and plans to be investing in June.
The pair will start with one fund, a maiden wholesale small caps strategy dubbed The Elvest Fund, which would seek to own 20 to 40 ASX-listed stocks and chosen from the ex-100 universe.
Ezquerro told Street Talk it would be similar to the Clime Smaller Companies Fund, which he and Wilson ran for about five years. That fund returned 17.7 per cent a year after fees during their tenure, while the Small Ords Accumulation Index was up 11.7 per cent a year over the same timeframe. They left in December to hang out their own shingle.
Jonathan Wilson, left, and Adrian Ezquerro have teamed up to launch Elvest, a small caps investment house.
“I always wanted to try my hand at my own business,” Ezquerro said.
If the bottom-up stockpickers’ history is any guide, they’ll be looking for the next Jumbo Interactive, Nick Scali and Hansen Technologies, each of which proved a winner for them in the past.
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Ezquerro said they liked typically founder-led or owner/management businesses, with strong balance sheets, well-articulated strategies and a record of executing well.
They’re expected to start raising for the new fund in the coming days, tapping family networks, independent adviser groups and family offices.
They join a long line of stockpickers to come out of bigger shops to try to emulate the success of boutiques like Eley Griffiths, Pengana, Paradice Investment Management and others.
Newer entrants to the sector include ex-Wilson Asset Management duo Chris Stott and Martin Hickson’s 1851 Capital, ex-Ausbil and Investors Mutual pair Tony Waters and Chris Prunty’s QVG Capital, and former Macquarie duo James Dougherty and Liam Donohue’s Lennox Capital Partners.