AXA IM unveils plans for new liquid absolute return investment team

AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) has unveiled details on AXA IM Chorus, its newly created investment team focused on liquid absolute return strategies.

The establishment of AXA IM Chorus was announced in April 2016 after Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard came back to the firm to build the new team.

Based in Hong Kong, AXA IM Chorus has seen its team expanded to 16 professionals with new hires including Jérôme Brochard and Hector Chan as co-CIOs, Augustin Landier as head of Research, Ahcène Garèche as senior quant researcher and Philippe Muller as chief technology development officer.

New hires are expected over the coming months, AXA IM said.

AXA IM Chorus will focus on building liquid absolute return strategies made up of a range of selected and combined premia ‘engines’.

“The objective is to create a diversified portfolio with low correlation to traditional asset classes. By combining different premia by risk rather than asset class profile, AXA IM Chorus has the potential to achieve strong returns with moderate volatility,” AXA IM specified.

Subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, AXA IM Chorus plans to start marketing liquid absolute return strategies to clients in 2017.

Jérôme Brochard joins from Goldman Sachs where he worked as a managing director in the equities division, overseeing the systematic trading strategies team. Formerly, he has been a co-founder of Nexgen Group, a capital markets trading company now owned by Natixis. He started his career at AXA.

Hector Chan also joins from Goldman Sachs where he was a managing director and head of Asia Pacific FICC Structuring. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Chan was responsible for the Asia Pacific ex-Japan Interest Rate and Foreign Exchange Structuring team at BNP Paribas.

Augustin Landier is a visiting professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and will continue this role alongside his new position as Head of Research at AXA IM Chorus.

Philippe Muller joins from the adtech company Criteo where he was a senior engineering lead while Ahcène Garèche joins from Marshall Wace where he was a Quantitative Researcher for the hedge fund.

Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard, managing director of AXA IM Chorus, commented: “We are excited by the talent AXA IM Chorus has been able to attract as the quality of our team is central to the offering we are building for clients.

“While liquid absolute return strategies are not new, we see demand for them increasing and believe that our approach, powered by a team of some of the brightest and best from the buy and sell side, as well as research and technology, will offer clients an exciting and differentiated proposition.”

He added: “Our strategy will focus on using our clients’ risk budget sensibly to generate returns while offering them stability. This is particularly important now in the context of heightened uncertainty and volatility in global financial markets. We want to provide clients with an attractive solution to the risk-return trade-off, without losing liquidity and scalability.”

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