French hedge fund industry surging

There has been a flurry of activity in the French hedge fund industry with an ex-Gartmore manager rumoured to be launching a $1bn Parisian hedge fund, BNP Paribas boosting its alternatives range and Axa IM poaching a hedge fund specialist from Swiss rivals EIM.

Guillaume Rambourg, a former Gartmore fund manager, is on the brink of launching a $1bn Paris-based hedge fund regulated by the AMF, the Financial Times has reported.

If the launch goes ahead it would indicate a significant rebound for Rambourg who underwent a nine month investigation by the UK’s Financial Services Authority into his trading activities at Gartmore.

Rambourg was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing but his 15 year career at the London-based hedge fund was ended.

The fund, to be named Verrazzano, will unite an impressive team of hedge fund industry veterans including Karim Moussalem, founder of Lyxor Asset Management, Murielle Maman, senior investment officer at UBS’ hedge fund division and former Gartmore senior analyst Tomás Pintó.

Earlier this week BNP Paribas announced it had brought three hedge fund specialists from HDF Finance into its newly established alternative investment focused THEAM team.

The three new recruits, Eric Debonnet, Thierry de Rycke and David Gilleron, joined THEAM from Paris-based fund of hedge funds, HDF Finance, where they were on the investment committee.

THEAM has also increased its stake in Innocap Investment Management, a Canadian managed account solutions provider, from 25 to 50%. Innocap, originally a subsidiary of the National Bank of Canada, has been offering hedge funds strategies since 1996.

Separately, Axa Investment Managers named Francisco Arcilla, previously co-head of investments at rival EIM, as global head of AXA funds of hedge funds, a €4bn unit established in 2005.

At EIM since mid-2008, Arcilla had responsibility for a team running portfolio management and manager selection for $7.5bn of client assets.

France is trying to boost its hedge fund industry having established a national seeding fund to attract new managers to Paris. The seeding fund, Emergence, is run in collaboration with NewAlpha, a seeding specialist which is also part of OFI Asset Management. 

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