London fund makes it big in Japan

A fledgling London-based activist investment fund that is looking to shake-up corporate Japan has outperformed the Tokyo Stock Exchange in its first six months.

Governance for Owners, partly backed by Michael Spencer's IGPL investment vehicle, has seen its Japan Engagement Fund grow nearly 5 per cent since March, well ahead of Tokyo's benchmark midcap index.

Japan has remained relatively untouched by similar funds, which have struggled with a corporate governance culture seen as far less transparent than the UK or the US. However, Japan has started to come more in line with other major trading centres.

Governance for Owners has teamed up with a domestic investor, Tokyo Marine Asset Management. It says the fund is "dedicated to adding significant value to clients by acting as a catalyst for corporate change".

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