Maltese boutique Gamma Capital Markets lands in Italy

Gamma Capital disembarked in Italy last May after nearly a decade serving European investors from Malta.

It has been some twenty years since a group of partners planned to launch Gamma Capital Markets in light of the opportunities that trading online and managed accounts were offering to professional investors. But it was not up to 2010 when the firm launched in Malta at a time when the asset management industry was becoming more complex and sophisticated.

Gamma Capital Markets’ name combines two of the definitions of the word gamma. In Greek, it refers to a letter commonly used when analysing options and, in Italian, it means wide array. So both the academic definition with the firm’s ethos of covering a wide range of assets and services is reflected on the firm’s name.

The manager offers a wide range of services to clients: from asset management to financial advisory, to services relating to any of the financial activities carried out by the firm. It also provides a separate advisory service for institutional clients.

Tallying around €1bn in assets under management from European clients only, Gamma’s business is 70% institutional and 30% retail, and exposure of the firm’s client portfolios accounts for 70% to alternatives, 15% to equity and the remaining 15% to fixed income.

Gamma Capital Markets entered Italy last May opening offices in Milan and Turin with the aim to fill a gap the company felt was still relatively empty. Sandra Soldà leads the Italian branch, Carlo de Luca is responsible for the asset management division, Giovanni Cuniberti is head of advisory, and Vito Ferito is the branch sales director.

“We decided to launch in Italy last year and every day we are more convinced we made the right decision. Most of the money in this country is invested in short-term fixed income products without a fair financial planning. And although we believe these bonds’ investments will underperform in the coming months, we see the move towards more risk-rewarding products still very low.

“This is because banks’ clients cannot rely on a genuine financial consultancy. We came to fill this gap welcoming passionate financial consultants,” says Vito Ferito.

The branch investment process can be defined as a global macro discretionary dynamic, according to Carlo de Luca.

It starts with a macro top down model to select asset classes, followed by a bottom-up model for the selection of listed companies and bonds and of funds/ETFs by a quantitative analysis, by a portfolio correlation analysis, and by a technical analysis to obtain the right market timing.

De Luca adds: “Portfolio strategy weights around 80% – consisting normally of 3-4 different strategies – and opportunistic tactic with a short-medium term weights 20%. It is a low-rotation portfolio (about 20% quarterly, when we get companies ’results).

“Our investment goal is to generate performance checking risk as much as possible. We seek those funds proving efficiency over difficult periods, hence we use ratios linked to risk more than to performance like Sortino, Ulcer Index or Recovery.

“We focus on thematic investments like Megatrend rather than on sectors. Particularly on those related to demographic growth and Emerging Markets’ middle class development, urbanisation trends (smart city), millennials, ageing population’ issues, security infrastructure, cybersecurity and consumer loans. We closely follow Robotics, AI, IOT and Biotech.“

Currently, Gamma is working on a new product in the robotics, AI and new technologies sector which, according Gamma’s CEO Alex Vella, are the real drivers of the recent economic growth.

While consolidating its business in alternatives investments in Malta and aiming at expanding its Italian branch, Gamma is planning to launch across Eastern Europe, Vella unveils.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eugenia Jimenez
Eugenia Jiménez speaks Spanish and is Iberia Correspondent for Investment Europe covering Spain & Portugal, as well as assisting with coverage of Italy. She holds a UK NCTJ- accredited Multimedia News Reporting course and studied Journalism at the University of Sevilla. She has worked for local media organisations in Sevilla and Málaga, mainly in broadcasting as a news reporter, among other roles. She has also worked for a local newspaper in Sevilla, reporting on current affairs, local government and culture.

Read more from Eugenia Jimenez

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