Azimut builds network of international partnerships

Azimut pursues international partnership strategy on road to expansion

Azimut, a Milan-based asset manager, has bought 50% of Swiss company Katarsis Capital Advisors and its Luxembourg-based subsidiary Eskatos Capital Management. The deal is worth about €7.5m, to be paid in cash and shares, and includes scope for further development through put/call options.

Katarsis, based in Lugano, provides actuarial and financial advisory services on insurance-related risks, in particular insurance linked securities (ILS). Its service covers the traditional and non-traditional reinsurance market: longevity, mortality and other trend risks within the life business; natural and man-made catastrophe risks within the property and casualty business.

Katarsis acts as investment adviser to Eskatos, which manages Eskatos Multistrategy ILS Fund and Eskatos Property & Casualty Fund, two open-ended Sicavs with a three-year track record. Azimut said in a statement: “Eskatos is the only ILS asset manager domiciled in the EU.”

Pietro Giuliani, chairman and chief executive of Azimut Holding, said the specialist skills of Katarsis, which has €90m in assets under management, would enable Azimut to launch a range of unique products. Azimut Holding has €14.4bn in assets under management and €16.4bn under administration.

Azimut’s life division, AZ Life, manages a range of unit-linked policies with portfolios of funds or Sicav defined by both risk level and markets or asset classes.

Alberto Minali, chairman of Eskatos Capital Management, said the Azimut deal would increase his company’s assets under management, enabling him to attract further capital and extend his range of operations.

Giuliani added the acquisition was part of a strategy to build up Azimut as a multi-boutique asset manager. In May, Giuliani announced a deal to buy 50% of Compagnie de Gestion Privée Monegasque, a Monaco-based wealth manager.

At the end of June, Azimut announced a partnership with Siqurgest, a Swiss-based advisory company. Siqurgest will include Azimut’s products as part of its offering to the Swiss market, and provide Azimut with asset management and advisory services.

As a result of the Siqurgest deal, Azimut’s Luxembourg subsidiary AZ Fund Management launched a Ucits III sub-fund, named Area Euro Growth, which will invest in equities, bonds and money market instruments, following an absolute return strategy.

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