Polar Capital Holdings plc is a specialist active asset management group.
20 Nov 2023
Navigating tough markets better than most
AUM was slightly down by -0.4% to £19.1bn over H1-24 (to 30 Sep 23). This was however a relatively strong performance compared to most other asset managers. Amidst widespread sector outflows, only two from an 11-strong London-listed peer group outperformed Polar on AUM movement over H1, with some recording falls of more than 10% (see page 2).
Investment performance was +£546m, net flows -£581m, and fund closures -£50m. Average AUM was up on H2-23 but down y-o-y from £20.0bn in H1-23 to £19.4bn, with the H1-23 average still somewhat elevated as the full impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had not hit markets (page 4).
We believe Polar is well-positioned to return to growth. It has an enviable track record of investment outperformance; its multi-niche strategy should prove attractive to asset owners; history suggests active management bounces back after market falls; and its net-flow position is certainly improving.
Our fundamental valuation is 575p per share, 27% above the share price, and the sharp falls in asset manager valuations look over-done to us, especially in light of recent M&A activity.
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