09.28.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Micro Cap Mutual Funds Globalize

Utah-based Wasatch Funds bears mutual fund offspring, Grandeur Peak Funds.

On September 28, Grandeur Peak Global Advisors announced it will launch two mutual funds on October 17: the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities Fund and the Grandeur Peak International Opportunties Fund. The firm is an offshoot of Salt Lake City based Wasatch Advisors; started by Wasatch portfolio managers Robert Gardiner and Blake Walker.

“We launched funds in November 17 of 2008, which was not a time anyone could say was a good one for launching a fund,” said the firm’s President, Eric Huefner. “But we’re not trying to time the market—if we feel this is the right time to invest, we’ll go ahead and launch our funds.”

Huefner told Markets Media that he was not concerned about the perhaps, ‘new normal’ of market volatility. “We’re not nervous about the markets being volatile at all—because when the markets are more sluggish, we think that’s a good entry point over the long-term. There are new investment opportunities, and valuations are better.”

In a world of bearish investor sentiment and holistically, low, returns, staying competitive can be difficult for fund managers. Grandeur Peak aims to find a niche in global small/micro cap investing.

“You have to be thinking globally when you invest these days,” said Huefner. “If you’re not looking into other countries, you might miss opportunities that might be twice as interesting and selling for half as much—like a bank in Korea….we’re not in a Morningstar box.”

Many mutual funds still overlook global opportunities, according to Huefner. “Not that many are doing global small/micro cap—our competitors are a short list. There are only a handful of people doing what we’re doing.”

The Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities Fund will be a portfolio of global equities, including companies based in the U.S., developed foreign countries, and emerging/frontier markets. The portfolio has flexibility to adjust its investment mix by market cap, country, and sector in order to invest where the firm believes the best global opportunities currently exist.

The Grandeur Peak International Opportunities Fund will be an equities portfolio focused on small and micro cap companies strictly outside of the U.S.

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