Polar Capital Acquires HIM Capital Holdings

(Reuters) – Specialist investment firm Polar Capital has bought financial funds manager HIM Capital Holdings as part of its strategy to grow by attracting new investment talent and building specialist expertise.

The price was not disclosed but was funded by a mixture of cash and shares, sources close to the company said.

It is Polar’s (POLR.L) first acquisition of an entire company since it listed, though it recently attracted William Calvert from Axa Framlington to head up a new emerging markets offering.

HIM Capital, which was formerly Hiscox Investment Management prior to the management buyout of the business from Hiscox plc at the end of 2007, has some $230 million (148 million pounds) under management.

It has been managing financials funds since 1993 and currently runs four long-only funds, including the Far Eastern Financial Fund and the HIM Income Fund.

Performance has been strong since launch, with all four funds significantly ahead of their benchmarks.

Tim Woolley, chief executive of Polar Capital, said HIM offered “a unique group of highly experienced fund managers and a balanced portfolio of long-only funds with outstanding track records”.

HIM’s chairman Alec Foster said the acquisition by Polar Capital would provide access to an established distribution network to broaden its investor base.

Polar Capital had $2.6 billion under management at end-June, with specialist offerings in global technology, healthcare and Japan.\

By Claire Milhench

(Editing by Will Waterman)