The strategy is based on a disciplined bottom-up stock selection of attractive smaller companies (market capitalisation up to 5bn EUR) based in Europe, but generally operating globally. Investments are made in established niche companies that achieve sustainable and above-average growth over long periods with high profitability. The decisive criteria are end markets with structural growth, high entry barriers and excellent management teams.
- Diversified portfolio of 70-90 stocks
- Use of information inefficiencies due to low coverage
- Long-term investment horizon and low portfolio turnover
- Benchmark-agnostic selection
Further details on the opportunities and risks of this fund can be found in the sales prospectus.
Performance in 12-month periods
Monthly market comment
The rapid rise in US interest rates has left its mark on the equity markets. In this environment, small cap indices underperformed their large cap counterparts. The Berenberg European Small Cap lost more than its benchmark in August as the sector rotation from Quality/Growth to Value and the weak performance of the strong long-term Swedish market continued. Swissquote Group declined in August despite solid first-half 2023 results and increased 2023 guidance. Surgical Science Sweden AB fell in August after Q2 results missed market consensus. Genovis, on the other hand, posted a strong performance in August, triggered by the release of very strong Q2 2023 results with 30% sales growth. The solid growth was driven by both the enzyme and antibody businesses. 4Imprint also gave a strong update on the Group's business performance in H1 2023 with 18% growth in order intake. In August, we decided to divest in our position in Eckert & Ziegler.
Peter Kraus has been Head of Small Cap Equities at Berenberg since October 2017. He began his career in 2000 as an equity analyst for a corporate finance consultancy in Munich before moving to Deka-Investment in Frankfurt in 2003. There he worked as an analyst for European Small Caps. In 2006 he joined Allianz Global Investors as Fund Manager for European Micro and Small/Mid Caps, where he contributed significantly to the success of the Small Cap team in the following years. Peter Kraus was responsible for the management of various European Small and Mid Cap funds as well as for the acquisition and management of international institutional mandates. He studied Business Administration at the University of Mannheim and is a CFA Charterholder.
Katharina Raatz has been a Portfolio Manager at Berenberg since July 2017. She began her investment career as a Portfolio Manager in the European Small Cap team at DWS in 2013, where she was responsible for various European Small and Mid Cap retail funds and institutional mandates as well as for the single stock selection of French/Italian Small caps for the Global Equity platform. Furthermore, she managed international professional clients and was Deputy Portfolio Manager of DWS' largest Mid cap fund. Katharina holds a Master and Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Mannheim, with stays abroad at the University of Bath and ESADE Buenos Aires and is a CFA Charterholder.
Johann Abrahams joined Berenberg as a Portfolio Manager in January 2020. Previously, he completed the Berenberg International Graduate Program with assignments in Sell-Side Equity Research, Equity sales, ECM, Syndicate, Quantitative and Discretionary Asset Management. Johann Abrahams holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Mannheim, a Master in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics and is a CFA Charterholder.
Consideration of ESG Elements
Identifying companies and business models that will be successful in the long term is the basis for good investment decisions. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are key factors in decision making and are therefore integral
components of the investment process.
The fund does not actively manage its carbon footprint, however, emissions data such as CO2 intensity are relevant parameters which can be used to assess the efficient management of a company and the extent of transition risks.
The data provider MSCI ESG uses an ESG score of 0 to 10 to assess the management of material ESG risks of portfolio holdings compared to competitors.
ESG Controversies Screen
Investments in the fund are monitored for ESG controversies and, with the help of MSCI ESG data, flagged according their severity. Thereby, potential ESG risks of investments are identified. In the case of an orange flag (severe controversy), we enter into an active exchange with the company. In the case of a red flag (very severe controversy), the company is excluded.