Advent Capital was founded in 1996 by Tracy V. Maitland, who had previously been a director in the convertible securities department of Merrill Lynch (now BAML). Today Advent runs just over $9 billion with some strategies exclusively focused on convertibles, while others allocate across the capital structure. The asset manager has steadily diversified into three synergistic business areas: it manages roughly $7 billion in long-only funds, primarily investing in convertibles (with some straight high yield debt); over $1 billion in three closed-end funds listed on the NYSE, and approximately $400 million in alternatives, including absolute return funds, hedge funds and liquid alternatives.
Of 60 staff, mainly in New York and London, 25 are investment professionals, whose original corporate research is the core Advent competence running through all business areas. “The analyst team cover sectors, sub-sectors and geographies. They use both sides of the brain in analysing income statements and balance sheets,” says Advent COO, Kris Haber. Joined-up thinking means that the team spans the whole capital structure, including straight debt, convertibles and equity. The synergy among the business sleeves is garnered by the applicability of this research to any of Advent’s existing investment strategies and vehicles, or indeed the new ones being rolled out. “By understanding the various components across the capital structure, you are more knowledgeable about relative value, and long and short opportunities that exist,” Haber says.