Taiga fund

A look at one of Oslo’s small-cap specialist in our continuing series on the Nordic fund space.

Oslo is not the first place people look to when considering the heavyweights of the fund management industry, which is generally focused in London and New York.

Yet in this slightly unfashionable city lies the Taiga fund, one of the top-performing hedge funds of 2014, netting an impressive 30%  over the period using a long/short equity strategy.

The Norwegian company – which is in joined in the top five by the Rhenman Healthcare fund – a Stockholm-based fund, is named after the Taiga forest that stretches throughout the Nordic region.

Taiga’s website adds that the name is ‘relevant in terms of our preference for investing in robust companies with sustainable business models’.

The team is led by portfolio manager Ola Wessel-Aas, who spent eleven years at American giant Merrill Lynch after a stint in the Norwegian army as a paratrooper.

He is joined by Andreas Petter√łe, who completed the officers training program in the Norwegian military. He previously worked at the Oslo Stock Exchange on the options & futures desk and also had experience in managing Norwegian equities for a Norwegian fund manager.

The group has a fundamentals-led investment strategy, arguing that valuations should be assessed on ‘profitability and growth’ and not ‘size and liquidity’.

It is a small-cap focused fund and argues that there is a ‘wide variety of smaller companies with proven track records, strong balance sheets and superior profitability’.

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