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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 115 - July | August 2016 > Voce Turns Five: A Voice for Value

Voce Turns Five: A Voice for Value

Always engaged, occasionally activist

Voce Capital Management’s strategy is distinguished from other activist managers principally in that its founder, J. Daniel Plants (pictured, right), is a long term value investor who engages with all investee companies, but uses public activism (dubbed ‘vocal’ positions) more selectively. Voce is also differentiated from long only activists in that it has a short book within its investment strategy. Voce has succeeded in bringing about corporate change with far smaller shareholdings than most activists may feel are necessary.

Voce’s portfolio also looks different. It is amongst a number of smaller activist funds that, based on public filings, has avoided positions perceived to be ‘overcrowded hedge fund longs’ that may be present in the portfolios of some larger event-driven and activist funds. Other hedge funds comprise only about 13% of the shareholdings in its portfolio companies, according to Plants. A concentrated portfolio is one thing Voce has in common with many activists, however: there are typically 10-15 core long investments. This distinctive approach is working: Voce has passed its five year anniversary, and all four books – long, short, active, and passive – have made positive absolute profits. The strategy has profited in every calendar year, annualised in excess of 10% per annum, without using any leverage at the level of the fund (nor much at the level of investee companies).

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