Artisan Partners is looking to increase its handiwork by adding an international equity investment team.
The firm, which opened this year, wants to expand its offerings beyond the domestic small-capitalization equity mutual fund it started in spring, said Managing Partner Andrew Ziegler.
Artisan has the capital for an acquisition, thanks to the backing of its investors, which include investment banker Hellman & Friedman, but it is expensive to buy a money management firm, said Mr. Ziegler. It is easier to hire a good team and build a practice around it, so Artisan Partners will more likely seek an established institutional management team, he said.
The ideal candidate would be an international small-cap equity team with a style similar to Artisan's strategy of growth at a reasonable price, said Mr. Ziegler.
Mr. Ziegler left his post as president of Strong/Corneliuson Capital Management last year to start Artisan Partners along with his wife, Carlene Murphy Ziegler, who was manager of the Strong Common Stock Fund and Strong Opportunity Fund. She is now managing the firm's mutual fund product, the Artisan Small Cap Fund, an equity mutual fund combining growth and value.
The fund has been successful, attracting $198 million since its introduction, including a "handful" of institutional investors, said Mr. Ziegler. Artisan Partners plans to close the fund at $300 million to avoid creeping into larger issues, and "if the markets don't do something funny" that target could be reached before the end of the year, he said.
Additionally, Artisan also has a commitment of $20 million from a pension client, which Mr. Ziegler declined to identify, and half of the commitment has been funded.