– London Bridge
North American Microcap Equity
Opportunity & Philosophy
The objective of our North American Microcap Equity strategy is long term, absolute capital appreciation. Our philosophy is based upon the notion that microcap companies are a neglected asset class; providing ample opportunities for research-minded investors. Our goal is to capitalize on this anomaly by maintaining a nimble capital base, conducting rigorous due diligence on all companies under consideration, performing thorough channel checks, and maintaining regular dialogue with management teams.
The microcap segment of the North American (U.S. and Canadian) public equities market – businesses with market capitalizations of $250 million or less – is a target rich environment. A vast universe of approximately 7,100 companies or 30% of all North American public equities fall within the microcap segment. This layer of the market tends to sit beyond the reach of many institutional investors given the liquidity constraints and utter lack of Wall Street research coverage. We believe the experience of our portfolio managers provides us with a distinct advantage in this asset class. Having spent the majority of their careers investing in microcaps, 35 years for Jim Boucherat and 19 years for David LaSalle, they have developed an impressive network of long-term oriented investors and corporate management teams, making it easier for us to source, vet, and pursue opportunities in this notoriously inefficient asset class. This is a buy and hold investment strategy that has been extremely tax-efficient. We anticipate that the strategy will close at approximately $150 million of assets under management.
Our investment process is predicated upon deep-dive fundamental research. We are in pursuit of quality businesses with strong balance sheets, which typically equates to little or no debt, and net cash. From a portfolio perspective, our holdings tend to be self-funding, generating positive free cash flow. We purchase shares of these businesses when they are relatively unknown and selling at very low multiples to cash flow (generally less than 4.5x 1 year out EV/EBITDA), but growing operating income at approximately 20% annually or better. Moreover, we look to incorporate investment themes within our work, which leads us to businesses benefiting from a sustained undercurrent of capital spending, such as fiscal expenditure initiatives, changes in government regulation, or highly disruptive technological advances. Given our orientation toward companies with solid balance sheets, strong financials and low valuations, our work is highly focused on a subset of the microcap universe that does not suffer from quantitative or qualitative opacity. Generally speaking, we do not invest in financials, utilities, pharma/biotech, or oil and gas producers.
PVAM Perlus Microcap Strategy
The PVAM Perlus Microcap strategy invests in the microcap segment of the North American (U.S. and Canadian) public equities market. Our portfolio holds shares of approximately 20 – 25 businesses with market capitalizations of typically $250 million or less. Our portfolio allocations are based entirely upon the availability of investment opportunities. If valuations are attractive for the asset class, and we are finding an abundance of interesting companies, the portfolio will be close to fully invested. Conversely, if valuations become less enticing and individual positions are trimmed or eliminated, or where there is a shortage of attractively priced opportunities, we will allow our cash position to build.
This strategy is currently offered through a commingled fund and separately managed accounts.
The PVAM Perlus Microcap strategy is managed by Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP.*
Please click here for additional disclosures related to Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP, including the Firm’s Pillar 3 disclosures.
*Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP (“Pacific View UK”) is a UK-based subsidiary of Pacific View Asset Management, LLC and is the investment manager to the PVAM Perlus Microcap Strategy. Pacific View UK is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In September 2014, “Perlus Investment Management LLP” combined with Pacific View to become Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP and the “Perlus Microcap strategy” became the PVAM Perlus Microcap strategy.
James, along with his co-Portfolio Manager David LaSalle, combined their existing advisory business (previously Perlus Investment Management) with Pacific View Asset Management, LLC in September 2014, creating Pacific View’s UK subsidiary, Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP. James serves as the co-Portfolio Manager and co-Head of Pacific View’s Microcap team. James has 35 years of experience managing North American equity funds, the majority of which exclusively focused on the microcap asset class.
James started his investment career in 1982 as an economist at a UK insurance company later renamed Aviva, now the largest multiline insurance group in Europe. From 1993 – 1996, James was in charge of North American equity investments at Shell Pensions Management Services in London. He continued to manage money for Shell on an outsourced basis from 1997 – 2000. From 1996 – 2005, James served as a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Avocet Capital Management, a SEC-registered investment firm that housed a long-biased hedge fund focused on North American microcap stocks and a corporate pension fund. During his tenure at Avocet, the firm managed assets of over $200 million. In 2005, James became a consultant for MicroCapital, LLC, an investment company focused on undiscovered and under-followed microcap companies with a growth catalyst in emerging industries. James established Perlus Investment Management in 2008.
David, along with his co-Portfolio Manager James Boucherat, combined their existing advisory business (previously Perlus Investment Management) with Pacific View Asset Management, LLC in September 2014, creating Pacific View’s UK subsidiary, Pacific View Asset Management (UK) LLP. David serves as the co-Portfolio Manager and co-Head of Pacific View’s Microcap team. David has 19 years of investment industry experience.
David’s career in finance began in 1998 as a Credit Analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, developing and implementing margin solutions for the firm’s brokerage accounts. From 1999 – 2001, he worked as a trader for B. Riley and Co., a boutique research firm. In 2003, while completing his Master’s degree in Finance, David won, through a competitive selection process in association with his university, an internship as an equity analyst for Parnassus Investments, a socially responsible mutual fund focused on mid to large cap companies. David then served as Head of Research for San Francisco-based hedge fund Core Fund, focusing primarily on U.S. public microcap equities. David later spent three years with New York-based hedge fund MicroCapital, L.P., as the Vice President of Research, where, in 2005, he met and worked with James Boucherat on the value side of the portfolio. David helped create Perlus Investment Management with James Boucherat in 2008.
David completed his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Masters of Science in Finance from Golden Gate University.