The Allianz US Micro Cap Equity fund will be managed by a team of five led by Robert Marren, who has invested in the space for 21 years.
It will invest across sectors, although a press release announcing the launch said attractive opportunities were especially prevalent in healthcare and technology.
The C share class for retail investors will be 0.83% although a 0.45% all-in-fee will be available for “early adopters”.
AllianzGI currently has no plans to roll out a Sicav version of the fund.
Going active in the US
“While the US large cap space has become a familiar stomping ground for passive players, we continue to see opportunities to generate active investment returns in US micro caps,” said AllianzGI head of retail and wholesale for UK Adam Gent (pictured).
The fund will be benchmarked against the Russell Microcap Growth index and sit in the IA US Smaller Companies sector.
Opportunities exist in the sector because it is shunned by institutional investors and inefficient information flow, the press release said.
Marren said: “The asset class has delivered compelling returns because Wall Street is preoccupied with name brand large cap stocks. This lack of focus on micro caps creates significant opportunities in active management, allowing us to capture early-stage/underappreciated investment ideas on behalf of our clients.”
The investment team is based in San Diego.
Large and mega caps are generally the first port of call for investing in the US and micro-caps are a risky area of the market, said Willis Owen head of personal investing Adrian Lowcock.
“As with all micro-cap there is the potential to get access to companies with a lot of growth, but also many companies which will always stay small,” Lowcock said. “Given the fact that companies have been increasingly avoiding listing on the market until they reach a certain scale means that the asset class isn’t always offering exposure to the fast growth companies.”