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WAM Global’s new portfolio manager revealed

Wilson Asset Management have revealed who the lead portfolio manager will be for the new listed investment company (LIC).

Catriona Burns has been appointed the global fund manager of WAM Global Limited, the upcoming LIC.

She was an employee of Wilson Asset Management in the past and now has returned to head up the latest WAM offering. Chairman Geoff Wilson said “I have known Catriona for more than 14 years and she is a brilliant fund manager who knows our investment process intimately”.

“We are delighted she will lead WAM Global and provide investors with an outstanding opportunity to gain access to a diversified portfolio of undervalued international growth companies”.

Mrs Burns will recommence working at Wilson Asset management in the middle of February, only a few weeks away. She said “I began my funds management career with Wilson Asset Management in 2003 and left for London in 2007 to manage global equities.”

“Working as an analyst with Geoff, I helped develop and implement the investment process that has delivered strong risk-adjusted returns for shareholders over our 20-year history”.

Wilson Asset Management said in an ASX release that shareholders of WAM Capital Limited (ASX: WAM), WAM Leaders Ltd (ASX: WLE), WAM Microcap Limited (ASX: WMI), WAM Research Limited (ASX: WAX) and WAM Active Limited (ASX: WAA) will get a priority allocation in the WAM Global initial public offering.

It’s expected that the offering will launch in late April, which I’m sure will easily raise over $200 million in funds.

Speaking to the AFR, Mrs Burns said that the WAM Global focus will remain on small caps and mid-caps. The same WAM process of finding undervalued growth companies and identifying catalysts for revaluation will be utilised for the international portfolio.

She said “Whether it’s the US, Germany or France there’s so many stocks out there, leaders in their field or up-and-coming technology companies you can access by investing outside of Australia.”

“We’re happy to get on a plane and go speak to them, but the beauty of small, mid-caps versus the large caps is you can actually speak to management.”

She has already hinted at the type of stocks that WAM Global will be interested in. She likes industrial automation company KUKA AG, telecom and energy cabling company Prysmian Group and bargain store company Seria in Japan.

Foolish takeaway

The appointment of Catriona Burns seems like a very good choice, ultimately it will be the returns she delivers which will prove how good she is.

I was already likely to invest in the WAM Global offering and this appointment hasn’t changed that likelihood, it sounds like the investment team will be identifying wonderful businesses that are beyond the reach or knowledge of most Australian investors.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of WAM Capital Limited, WAM MICRO FPO, and WAM Research Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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