Stock Picker Thrives in Brazil’s Chaotic Markets

An asset manager backed by Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital LLC and billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann is minting money in Brazil by successfully navigating one of the world’s worst stock markets — and becoming a hit among investors.

Constellation Investimentos e Participacoes Ltda. is an equities-focused firm created more than two decades ago by Florian Bartunek, a 51-year-old stock picker who once helped manage Lemann’s personal fortune. Its flagship fund is bucking a slump in the local market, driven by investors’ concerns over the nation’s mounting fiscal woes while luring in new money at the fastest pace in its history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We obviously root for the country to do well, but in Brazil you have to find those firms with a good performance regardless of where the market goes,” Bartunek, who oversees about 15 billion reais ($2.7 billion), said in an interview. His Constellation Master FIA has topped about 94% of its local peers over the past five years, the data show. Bartunek has leaned heavily on what he sees as local leaders to make his portfolio: firms that are not necessarily the cheapest, but managed to shield themselves from competitors through scale and knowing how to navigate Brazil’s maze of taxes and red tape. His current roster includes the country’s sole exchange operator B3, drugstore chain Raia Drogasil and car- rental firm Localiza. He also bets on newer companies that have been rapidly expanding, with exposure to Brazil but traded elsewhere — such as e-commerce giant MercadoLibre, payments fintech StoneCo and retail broker XP Inc.

 Trader Aleksandar Kumanov

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