Foreign groups continue their Iberian campaign

It’s a tough market to break into, but external funds groups believe Spain is worth the effort.

Sixteen overseas fund groups entered the Spanish market last year. The number of new extranejo fund groups joining the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores register was one higher than in 2010.

New entrants included ­established international and ­independent players, as well as boutique ­operations. Funds new to the market ­concentrated on thematic, global and regional equities and bonds, in ­addition to alternative strategies.

Independent fund groups were ­particularly well represented. Many hope that the reorganisation of Spain’s struggling banks and private banking models will provide greater open architecture opportunities.

British-based Nemesis Asset ­Management, a value investor, was the first overseas group to register in Spain in 2011. It is represented by MCH Investment Strategies, a fast-growing local group that distributes third-party funds from international managers, including Odey Asset ­Management and Brown Advisory.

Foothold

Independent managers are hoping to gain a foothold in the recovering hedge fund market. Local hedge and funds of hedge funds lost significant assets and private client trust in the wake of the Madoff scandal.

Industry figures show that funds of hedge funds were hit worst. ­Local-based assets under ­management remain more than 50% on their peak, while single manager assets have recovered.

Hedge fund ­specialist Winton Capital opened up its quant driven long-only Global Equity fund to institutional and ­professional investors.

BlueCrest joined the market with its Alignment Global fund, as did Aspect Capital with its quant-based ­Diversified Trends fund last June.

Alceda Fund Management, part of German group Aquila, launched its AC Quant CTA fund last September.

Traditional strategies were also well represented. Banque Neuflize registered its equity-based Ambition and Optimum funds last April.

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