David Forster and Peter Wilton’s IBIS Capital Partners is a London-based hedge fund and the seventh-best performing hedge fund in Insider Monkey’s database during Q2. It was founded back in 2003 by David Forster and Charles McIntyre. Mr. Forster’s career started with the UK’s biggest newspaper publisher, News Group Newspapers, where he manned the position of Advertising Research Manager. David’s next position was more investment-related, as he worked as an equity analyst with a specialty in media for a few large investment banks, such as Merrill Lynch, Kleinwort Benson, and as a Managing Director at Salomon Smyth Barney. From 1994 until 2001 David was co-head of the top-ranked UK media equity research team.
IBIS Capital Partners’ second-most important name is that of its Portfolio Manager – Peter Wilton. His investment career started 30 years ago at Royal London Asset Management, where he was in charge of analytical coverage of the media sector, and managed many retail and institutional UK equity portfolios. In 1995 Peter joined Threadneedle Asset Management where he ran the Threadneedle UK Select Growth Fund, among others. He pushed investments in the media sector and in 2001 became a co-manager of the outstanding Threadneedle Crescendo UK Equity long/short hedge fund. Peter came to IBIS Capital Partners three years after its inception.
Naturally, with its partners’ robust experience investing in media businesses, IBIS Capital Partners mainly invests in media and media tech businesses. Not long ago the fund also developed an interest for investing in two other sectors – Ed-Tech and e-Learning, broadening its investment scope in the process. Companies from the media sector that have the fund’s attention include internet stocks, marketing services, broadcasting and pay TV, and professional and consumer publishing companies, to name a few. The fund has two sister companies – one that runs a global media long/short hedge funds and another that runs private equity funds. IBIS Capital Partners co-founded the famous annual conference for people involved in e-Learning, called EdTechEurope.
IBIS Capital Partners’ performance data is not publicly available. However, according to our own calculations they have done extremely well over the past year. IBIS Capital had ten positions in companies with market caps above $1 billion as of March 31, which delivered returns of 21% in the second quarter. That return ranked IBIS Capital Partners seventh among the hedge funds in our database (based on their returns using the same criteria). The fund’s portfolio is valued at $48.2 million and its current AUM is unknown. Estimates in 2012 from The Association of Investment Companies (in short AIC) noted that they had assets under management of £7 million (about $11.25 million at that time), according to their management group rankings made on June 30, 2012.
Insider Monkey’s flagship strategy identifies the best performing 100 hedge funds at the end of each quarter (IBIS Capital Partners was one of those funds at the end of Q2) and invests in their consensus stock picks. This way it is always invested in the best ideas of the best performing hedge funds and is able to generate much higher returns than the market. Since its inception in May 2014, our flagship strategy generated a cumulative return of 121% vs. a cumulative gain of 66.6% for the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) (see the details here).
We’ll discuss the changes the fund made to its portfolio in the second quarter on the next page.