Zennor seeks opportunities in Japan catalysed by the corporate governance revolution, offered through two long-only equity strategies.
Founded in 2020
The experienced team of stock-picking fund managers leverage their extensive network in Japan to help uncover under-researched companies across the market capitalisation spectrum, often finding the most promising opportunities in smaller companies. The strategy aims to generate capital growth by investing in shares that trade below intrinsic value and offer upside potential triggered by a catalyst.
Capitalising on the ongoing governance revolution in Japan, this dividend-focused strategy aims to deliver a meaningful and growing level of income, together with capital growth. The managers draw on their extensive local networks in Japan built up over more than two decades. They identify opportunities amid accelerating corporate change – finding companies in rude health that have the potential to return capital to shareholders by way of dividends and share buybacks.
Zennor Asset Management is a boutique fund management business that specialises in Japanese stock market-listed equities. Founded in 2020 by fund manager James Salter, it launched its inaugural fund, IUP Zennor Japan Fund in February 2021 and its second, WS Japan Equity Income Fund in April 2023. With more than $600m of assets under management*, a robust infrastructure and an experienced board of directors in support, Zennor has ambitions to gently expand its product range and grow the number of fund managers working at the firm.
* as of 31 December 2023
Integration, engagement and stewardship are guiding principles for Zennor – as a result, material ESG factors are incorporated into traditional fundamental analysis, risk management and portfolio construction.
Zennor's overarching investment thesis is to benefit from the corporate governance revolution in Japan, which by its very nature includes engaging with portfolio companies to position corporate strategy towards long-term value creation. Subsequently, such dialogue is consistent with good stewardship and sustainability.
The Japanese market is about the direction and pace of change, rather than the absolute level – and Zennor’s guiding principle is not to let the best become the enemy of the good. However, where engagements with investee companies on ESG matters have more specific objectives, they will often follow with a formal letter as "letters, perhaps especially in Japan, carry weight”.*
*Zennor Sustainability Approach
Sustainability at Zennor
A majority employee-owned business with a flat management structure, Zennor is committed to building long-lasting partnerships with several charity organisations.
Zennor is a signatory of the UN PRI, the Japan Stewardship Code and a member of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan.