Consolidation continues as UBP buys Nexar Capital

Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has bought alternative investment manager Nexar Capital Group. The deal pushes UBP’s assets under management from $11bn to $14bn.

The acquisition builds on UBP’s capabilities in fund of hedge funds, hedge fund advisory, pooled and customized funds. The combined UBP-Nexar alternative investment group will boast a broader platform, established global distribution capabilities and innovative solutions in the alternatives space.

The group will have offices in Geneva, New York, London, Paris, Jersey, Tokyo and Hong Kong. It will form a new division reporting to UBP’s chief executive Guy de Picciotto.

Nexar, which has offices in New York and Paris, is a specialist in creating forward-looking, actively managed investment solutions to meet clients’ objectives. Nexar was founded in 2009 by global chief executive Arié Assayag, global chief investment officer Eric Attias and head of volatility strategies Bernard Kalfon.

Nexar manages funds of hedge funds and volatility arbitrage funds, both also available in Ucits III formats, as well as custom portfolios and other alternative products. From its launch, Nexar worked in partnership with Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focused exclusively on financial services, in order to position Nexar to act as a consolidator in the fragmented fund of hedge funds industry.

The deal indicates continuing consolidation in the asset management industry, as banking groups shed non-core assets to build their balance sheets and asset managers scale up to reach more lucrative business areas such as pension funds.

Nexar itself bought Ermitage Ltd, a London-based alternative asset manager, in May 2011. In September 2010, Nexar acquired Allianz Alternative Asset Management, one of the leading alternative investment managers in the European fund of hedge funds industry.

Also this week, GAM, the $55bn alternatives asset manager with offices in London and Zurich, announced the acquisition of Arkos Capital, a Lugano-based alternatives asset manager with $723m under management. Arkos manages a range of low-volatility, liquid and transparent absolute return funds, both offshore and onshore

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