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During September, the Columbus Fund declined by -1.80%. Over the past three months the Fund has risen by +5.48%, and by +44.62% since the market’s low on March 18th. This increase has brought the 12-month performance to +2.72%, despite the vast human and economic distress seen over this period. Over the year to date Columbus has also fared relatively well with a fall of -7.24%, beating the closest benchmarks which range from -9.70% for the MSCI Mid Cap to -13.01% for the Stoxx 600. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 102.11%, far exceeding European equity indices.

European markets drifted down slightly in September along with much of the rest of the world. However, against the recent trend they outperformed the US S&P500, helped by a hiatus in the strong recent run of the US large cap tech stocks. The positive performance of equity markets we have experienced since March struggled in September against the combined headwinds of Brexit, the looming US election and the ongoing disruption of the coronavirus. Yet despite these issues business confidence across much of Europe remained solid and many countries including Germany, France, Italy and most of Scandinavia registered improving data over the month.

As mid-cap investors we focus more on what the companies are telling us, and after the summer it was a good opportunity to catch up with a number of management teams. In general the tone remains cautiously optimistic but with many firms shy of providing guidance due to the uncertain nature of further government action around Covid-19. As we would expect from the very well managed businesses we prefer to invest in, the responses to the economic turmoil have been swift but measured. In many cases significant operational changes have been made to limit the financial and human impact of the virus and the associated government restrictions. It has clearly been a very challenging time across the board, but we have been impressed by the efforts of most of the companies we hold on the fund.

In September we finally sold our longer term holding in Ingenico after a return of 82%. In our view the recent takeover by Worldline crystalized the majority of the value in the firm at this stage and so we decided to redeploy he capital elsewhere. In this regard we are still in the process of building four new positions which we will outline once they are complete. All four offer substantial upside over the mid-term and are run by extremely competent teams and in three cases are still actively managed by the founders. The strongest contributions to performance in the month came from Neoen (French, renewable energy), Amplifon (Italian, hearing aid retailer) and Bodycote (UK, specialist heat treatment), while the largest detractors were Akka Technologies (Belgian, tech consulting) and Interpump (Italian, high pressure pumps).

Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

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We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.