The Motley Fool

Should you buy Henderson Group plc or Platinum Asset Management Limited for international exposure?

London-based asset manager Henderson Group plc (ASX: HGG) has spent a lot of time over the past year enhancing distribution channels and building strategic growth opportunities in the North American market. Central to this is the acquisition of Geneva Capital Management (due to finalise in October). Geneva Capital has considerable expertise in US small / mid caps and like most value-based managers tends to perform better in periods of stable growth and down markets.

Apart from this move Henderson Group manages a broad range of funds dealing with equities, alternatives, fixed income and real estate. Market share in the UK is 5% and distribution mix is 60% retail 40% institutional.

Some caution is needed in the near term as margins are likely to be impacted by new UK regulations. Funds are distributed throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Management forecasts a revenue increase of 22% in the 2015 calendar year.

With over 120 funds covering a range of asset classes (although European equities are dominant), Henderson Group ($3.90) offers reasonable value to those investors seeking a broad exposure to international economies in one box. An unfranked dividend of 4% can be expected.

Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX: PTM) is an ongoing work in progress for managing director Kerr Neilson, Australia’s most successful international investor (a lot of his wealth is tied up in this company).

Ever the value investor Platinum is not a momentum or trendy player and prefers to discover opportunities in more neglected sectors or regions. This of course can lead to under performance from time to time, but is a reliable way of building substantial wealth over the long term (if the situations are well selected!).

Over the last year Platinum has increased its weighting to Asia, which it perceives as offering better relative growth opportunities when compared to the over exposed Western markets. After a hiatus the Platinum funds (all are international) have experienced stronger inflows in recent months as some local investors look offshore.

Looking to FY 2015, Platinum Asset Management sells at 17 times projected earnings and a 5% fully franked dividend yield – this is attractive buying, in my view.

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Motley Fool contributor Peter Andersen owns shares in Henderson Group and Platinum Asset Management