Former Bestinver Executives to Start Spain Equity Asset Manager

  • AzValor AM will be registered this week in Spain with 2 funds
  • Fernando Bernard, Beltran Parages to lead new company

Former Bestinver Asset Management executives Fernando Bernard and Beltran Parages are starting a fund manager focused on undervalued equities in Spain and abroad.

AzValor Asset Management SGIIC will be registered with the Spanish regulator this week and will include a mutual fund focused on Spanish and Portuguese equities and another for international equities, Parages, chief executive officer and head of client relations, said in an interview Wednesday in Madrid. Bernard will serve as chairman and fund manager.

“We will keep doing the only thing we know and that is value investing,” Bernard said at the same interview. “That is looking for companies that are undervalued, with competitive advantages and good management teams.”

AzValor has 14 employees, including six analysts. Sergio Fernandez-Pacheco, former head of global product and business strategy at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s asset management unit, will be financial and operational director. Parages said he would like to be joined by former Bestinver managers Francisco Garcia Parames and Alvaro Guzman once the two men comply with the terms of resignation agreements that bar them from working for a Bestinver competitor.

Garcia Parames left Bestinver, owned by Madrid-based Acciona SA, in September 2014 after earning 16 percent annual returns over the previous two decades. At the time, the team oversaw more than 7.5 billion euros ($8.4 billion), making it the only top 10 Spanish asset manager that wasn’t a bank.

Bernard will start building the fund’s portfolio after the company gets regulatory approvals. “It is a good time to start: I’m finding a lot of opportunities, with good prices,” he said. ArcelorMittal and BMW AG may be among the companies that his funds target, he said.

AzValor isn’t setting a goal for assets under management. “If we deliver good returns, money will come,” Bernard said. “We want clients that share our long-term view, that understand that, when the stock market is down, it is an opportunity to buy.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.