Jeffrey Ubben‘s ValueAct Capital has delivered some of the biggest returns in the industry during its 19-year history, with its net returns topping 17% on average through 2017. And whereas many successful funds have lagged badly in recent years, ValueAct has continued to excel, outpacing the market between 2013 and 2017. Ubben, who employs a friendlier activist approach than some of his peers, has stepped down as CIO of the fund he founded in 2000, but remains its CEO.
Ubben’s fund followed in the recent footsteps of some other investment firms, which have stressed a new focus on investing in socially- and environmentally-conscious companies. The fund’s ValueAct Spring Fund launched early this year and initially hoped to raise up to $100 million, with one of the fund’s Q3 purchases being made for that fund (more on that below). Far from just being an altruistic endeavor, Ubben believes there is money to be made from investing in companies that will benefit society.
ValueAct’s 13F portfolio contained 19 long positions on September 30, climbing by two after it added three new holdings and exited one former position during Q3. However, as that one position was one of its largest, the value of the fund’s portfolio declined by $880 million to $10.17 billion quarter-over-quarter. Finance stocks jumped to 45.67% weighting within that portfolio, more than double the figure from a year earlier, with Ubben being dumbfounded by how cheap finance stocks are right now.
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On the next page we’ll check out the stocks ValueAct was most bullish on heading into Q4, as well as a stock that it unloaded around all-time highs.