Former Elliott Executive Tuil to Start New Activist Hedge Fund

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Former Elliott Management Corp. executive Franck Tuil plans to start a new activist hedge fund, Sparta Capital Management, later this year that will invest in public and private companies around the globe, with a particular focus on Europe, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tuil, who left Elliott last year, aims to launch Sparta Capital in the third quarter with more than $600 million in assets under management, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. In addition to being an activist fund, Sparta Capital will also adopt a similar set of strategies that Tuil oversaw at Elliott on a smaller scale, including investing across the capital structure in both equities and credit, the people said.

Tuil worked at Elliott for two decades and is one of Europe’s most experienced hedge fund managers. He was most recently a senior portfolio manager and helped lead Elliott’s London office alongside Mark Levine and Gordon Singer, the son of Elliott’s founder Paul Singer. Tuil oversaw several of Elliott’s high-profile campaigns, including its buyout of the soccer club AC Milan, and its push for changes at companies including Pernod Ricard SA, Bayer AG and Uniper SE, among others.

The launch of Sparta Capital comes at a time when several opportunities are presenting themselves in Europe in the wake of the coronavirus and the price dislocation it has created. Several high-profile European companies have been targeted by investors in recent years pushing for a change in strategy or governance, including French yogurt maker, Danone SA, which said earlier this month it would split its chairman and chief executive officer roles after pressure from investors.

A representative for Sparta Capital declined to comment.

Shareholder activism has been on the rise in Europe in recent years but it still accounts for a small percentage of overall campaigns globally. Out of the 102 campaigns launched so far in 2021, Europe accounted for just 19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. North American companies have been targeted 69 times, while 14 campaigns began in Asia over the same period, the data show. Part of that is because there are relatively few hedge funds dedicated to activist strategies in Europe when compared to North America.

Tuil will be joined at Sparta Capital by Oliver Haslam, who will be its head of research. Sarah Mitchell will join as head of business development, and Gilles Fretigne will be its chief operating officer. Antonin Jullier will be Sparta’s head of risk and trading, the people said.

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