Northill Capital acquires majority interest in Wellfield Partners

London-based Northill Capital has acquired a majority interest in Wellfield Partners, a systematic global investment manager, and will provide seed capital of $30m for a minimum of three years to support Wellfield’s growth in target European and international markets.

Wellfield Partners was established in April 2009 by Gary Vocat, Kevin Bailey, Jeremy Whitby and Sean Eldridge and employs an adaptive trend-following approach, trading in three distinct uncorrelated asset classes: foreign exchange, financial futures and commodity futures.

Northill Capital is an independent, privately held asset management business, established in November 2010 by Jon Little (pictured), former vice-chairman of BNY Mellon Asset Management, with substantial financial backing from trusts associated with the Bertarelli Family.

Northill is part of the Kedge Capital family office that manages the $15bn Bertarelli family trust. Ernesto Bertarelli, who ranked 64th in the Forbes 2010 rich list, sold Serono, the family’s Geneva-based pharmaceutical company, in 1996 earning $8.5bn. Northill also has a 51% stake in hedge fund investment firm Alpha Strategic, set up by Colin Barrow, former managing director of ED&F Man, and Nicola Meaden Grenham, a founder of TASS Research.

Northill’s long-term strategy is to build a portfolio of high quality asset management businesses. Little will now sit on the Wellfield partnership committee.

The founding members of the Wellfield management team have worked together for 18 years, notably as founder members of BNY Overlay Associates, a currency risk management firm, managing $12bn for major institutional investors globally.

As part of the investment by Northill, Wellfield will manage a new Cayman-based fund which will pursue a systematic diversified strategy. The fund, to be launched in January 2012, will be seeded by Northill and is based on an existing separate account strategy which Wellfield has managed since June 2011.

Wellfield is the second such deal by Northill this year. In October, the firm announced the launch of Goldbridge Capital Partners, a new European credit asset management company with up to $100m equity and seed capital, to be led by Gina Germano and Dipankar Shewaram.

Goldbridge focuses exclusively on European distressed, high yield and global credit markets. The multi-lingual team, which includes Thomas Naess, Samantha Wessels, Nick Thomson and David Levenson, believes the credit market crisis combined with the need for European banks to de-lever will lead to high yield and distressed investing possibilities as businesses restructure.

Germano is one of the leading names in European distressed investing with almost 20 years of experience at BlueBay Asset Management, Lazard and Morgan Stanley. Shewaram has over 14 years experience at BlueBay Asset Management and Western Asset Management where he managed or advised over $22bn.

The board of directors of Goldbridge is chaired by non-executive director Frank Dangeard, former chairman & CEO of Thomson and deputy CEO of France Telecom.

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