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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 109 - November 2015 > Barington’s 15 Years of Value-Oriented Activist Investing

Barington’s 15 Years of Value-Oriented Activist Investing

Small cap US specialist has unique approach

The Hedge Fund Journal visited the New York offices of Barington Capital Group, L.P. (“Barington”), which follows a “differentiated approach to activist investing” says Partner and Head of Marketing, CFA Charterholder Marjorie Kaufman, who was selected as one of THFJ’s Leading 50 Women In Hedge Funds. Since inception in 2000, Barington’s value-focused activist equity strategy has generated double digit annualised returns, net of fees, and outperformed both the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 indices, according to an investor.

The strategy primarily invests in the consumer, retail and industrial sectors, almost entirely in the US, and focuses on creating value by helping undervalued companies in its investment portfolio improve their operations, corporate strategy, capital allocation and corporate governance. Barington often finds value in micro, small and mid-cap companies that Kaufman thinks “are often overlooked by some of the largest activist funds”. Boundaries between micro, small and mid-caps are a matter of opinion, but Barington’s range has historically been from The Eastern Company at $100mm in market cap to Darden Restaurants at $6bn, with most holdings above $500mm in market cap, a median of $900mm and all NYSE or Nasdaq listed. Director of Research, CFA Charterholder George Hebard, who has previously worked for Blue Harbour Group and large-cap activist Carl Icahn, is enthused by Barington’s investment approach and the opportunities Barington is pursuing in smaller companies, including Ebix where he sits on the board. The most widely held stocks amongst larger activists and event-driven funds have seldom been present in Barington’s book.

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INFORMING THE HEDGE FUND COMMUNITY With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.