Swiss manager Gottex to acquire Asia’s Penjing Asset Management

Alternatives fund group Gottex Fund Management Holdings has strengthened its presence in Asia by buying Hong Kong’s Penjing Asset Management, thus joining a growing list of Swiss managers making Asia a key business objective.

As a result of the deal, Gottex will add to its $6.7bn of fee earning assets, and welcome Ronnie Wu, founder and CIO of the $434m alternatives manager, as CIO for its entire Asian product line. He will also continue as portfolio manager of the Penjing funds.

Gottex had already signalled its intentions in the region by relocating to the region Max Gottschalk (pictured), one of its senior managers based in Europe, shortly after the financial crisis.

Swiss financial industry firms such as EFG International, Reyl & Cie and Julius Baer Group are also putting Asian client growth towards the top of their agendas.

Julius Baer said this week it expected more than half its assets to come from the region by 2015, up from roughly one third today.

Through its own deal, Gottex will also expand its range of Asia-focused funds, which are Penjing’s expertise.

The deal includes up to 1.75 million Gottex shares and cash payable over two years and adjusted for Penjing’s future assets under management.

Gottschalk, CEO of Gottex Asia, commented, “At Gottex, we firmly believe that Asia is a region of enormous strategic potential for the alternative asset management industry in both the short and long term.

“The combination of Gottex and Penjing establishes one of the largest Asia-focused hedge fund investment firms with the deepest investment team, which will allow our local and global clients to continue to invest in this fast growing region with confidence.”

Joachim Gottschalk, chairman and CEO of Gottex, said, “Our increased presence in Asia combined with our global footprint and infrastructure will provide our existing and future clients with a solid and secure gateway to an exciting region.”

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