We are pleased to announce that Marcus Björkstén is joining Fondita’s portfolio management team on February 1st. Marcus has a M.Sc. in Economics from Hanken, Swedish School of Economics and is a certified financial analyst (CEFA). He most recently comes from EVLI where he has been a portfolio manager since 2010.
“We have observed and followed his work over a period of time. He has extensive experience of the market and has done well as a stock-picker. His investment philosophy is in line with our investment philosophy. I am completely convinced that Marcus will fit in well and strengthen our team. We are very pleased to have him onboard!” our CEO Markus Larsson comments
Interview with Marcus Björkstén:
Tell us about yourself and your background
For the past 17 years I have worked with the stock market in various roles. First as a broker and salesman and later as an analyst and fund manager. Management of Swedish small and mid-cap companies has been my focus over the past 6 years. What turned out to be interesting about investing in smaller companies is that with hard work and careful analysis you can actually identify those companies where the market value does not always fairly reflect its true value. Additionally, it is exciting to follow the companies’ development from small to larger companies and all the challenges and twists and turns along the way.
How will you contribute to Fondita’s fund management?
My knowledge of the Swedish market is extensive and I have a good knowledge of individual companies. Since Sweden is the dominant stock market, I will be able to contribute to Fondita’s Nordic portfolio management. I have also put a lot of effort into effectively integrating sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) into my investment strategy. I believe my experience from these areas will be of great value for both Fondita and its customers.
What about the investment philosophy?
My investment philosophy is primarily to identify the yield-driving factors for a given investment universe and then create a portfolio of companies that meet the desired criteria in the best possible way. When it comes to small companies it is usually growth that is the most important factor as a result of valuation and quality. How the companies relate to sustainability issues has shown indications of being a yield-driving factor and should therefore also be taken into account in investment decisions. This trend is likely to be strengthened in the coming years. Even soft factors such as management's expertise and the company's market positioning are extremely important and weigh heavily in my investment decisions.
What is your definition of success factors in fund management?
To be a successful fund manager, you must do solid back-ground work before investing in a company, especially when it comes to smaller companies where the information is not always available or limited. One should be able to identify the value-creating driving forces in the company, and try to estimate and map any risks or threats to the company’s operations. A successful fund manager can in time identify when the situation has changed. For example, to liquidate the position when the company or the market where the company is active no longer develops in line with expectations. When an equity fund has a weak period it often depends on a handful of obviously poor investments that the portfolio manager stubbornly holds onto.
In conclusion, why active fund management?
Active fund management with a good return history and a successful investment philosophy will be even more coveted in the future. When it comes to small cap companies there will always be a demand since it is challenging for investors to access this exposure through other alternatives in an efficient manner.
For the future Fondita is superbly positioned with a successful management with a focus on smaller companies, an experienced and expert team, a very strong reputation, and brand.