Geoff Wilson is about to go after underperforming listed investment companies, and there’s plenty of supposed star stockpickers in his sights.

Wilson has made his fortune and reputation with Wilson Asset Management. He formed WAM in 1997 and it now manages more than $4bn in assets across various public and private vehicles on behalf of self-funded retirees, who receive franking credit refunds.

He has a penchant for chasing companies that have franking credits on their balance sheets, complementing Wilson’s other pursuit: hunting LICs trading at a discount to the value of their net tangible assets.

And there’s plenty of them at the moment. Hence Wilson’s latest move to form his eighth LIC in WAM Strategic Value, which will launch a $225m raising this week ahead of an ASX listing next month.

It will identify opportunities to, as Wilson puts it, “buy $1 assets for 80c” in underperforming LICs and with a bit of cajoling – “we’ll use the carrot or the stick, though we’d prefer to work with them and use the carrot more,” Wilson says – and encouragement and advice to close the NTA discount gap. With a chuckle Wilson points out that WAM Strategic Value’s ticker will be “WAR”.

Read more in The Australian.

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