Arkos seeks outlet for talent

Tristan Brenner, chief operating officer at Arkos Capital, a Lugano-based absolute return fund manager, sees advantages in being part of the GAM group.

What is Arkos’s unique selling point, in terms of strategy and products?

We manage a portfolio of single manager long-short equity funds, both offshore and Ucits. Our mission is to provide excellent performance to our clients through low-volatility, liquid and transparent absolute return investment strategies. We adopt a consistent investment philosophy, based on fundamental analysis and a bottom up approach to stock selection. Our edge lies in our ability to identify stocks that will surprise by exceeding or falling short of analysts’ expectations, thereby anticipating price changes.

Why does Arkos need to join the GAM group?

We were looking for a strong asset management partner who could help us realise our future growth potential, hence our desire to work with GAM, who already runs about $2bn in alternative Ucits strategies and is a leader in this field. GAM’s culture is based on allowing each investment team to follow its own investment philosophy and process, while applying strict risk-management checks. There is a great strategic and cultural fit. We will be able to retain our successful investment team and approach, without making changes to them, while GAM’s distribution network gives us access to a broad, global client base.

How does the Arkos fund range fit in with GAM’s current range?

Our products are complementary to GAM’s offering, expanding and broadening their current single manager range. Arkos’s long-short European, emerging markets and financials strategies for instance fill a notable gap in GAM’s present offering. Our successful convertible bond strategy also is complementary to GAM’s existing fund, as the styles and approach of the managers are different. It is planned that by year-end all funds will be distributed under the GAM brand . Otherwise, our investment strategies and products will remain unchanged.

Are there too many products on the Swiss funds market?

The overcapacity of funds in the asset management industry in general is huge. If a fund is to succeed over the long-term, it needs an established track record. But what is also needed is expert client service, sound investment management processes and a robust infrastructure.

What has been the impact of recent regulation such as FINMA on businesses based in Switzerland?

We have been regulated and supervised by FINMA as an asset manager of collective investments since 2007. Like other industry representatives, we are supportive of a sound regulatory regime which is in line with international standards and which safeguards the interests of investors and the reputation of Switzerland’s financial centre. We feel well-equipped to master the challenges of new regulation, particularly now that we are part of GAM.

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