SGAM AI has launched an index-enhanced strategy based on the HFRX hedge fund indices and strengthened its specialised regional marketing teams.
The strategy, which has been running since January this year, is now being marketed primarily to the HNWI market in Asia, mainly through structured products.
Arié Assayag, Head of Hedge Funds at Société Générale Asset Management Alternative Investments, said: 'We feel it is the right time to offer passive index clients an index plus product in addition to our established active hedge fund product range. We selected HFR because they have a well established track record in indices, and we already use their data in other areas of our business.'
Assayag said the strategy is being managed by SGAM AI, which will tactically allocate among the various underlying strategies which constitute the indices. This tactical allocation will capitalize on the expertise and allocation process developed within the SGAM AI fund of hedge funds program. This program, managed by a team of 20 professionals based in New York and Paris, includes a large range of actively managed fund of hedge funds with USD 5.2 billion under management (AUM in FOF as at end December 2005).
Assayag said: 'This new index 'plus' investment strategy provides an attractive opportunity for institutional and retail investors willing to track the performance of the hedge fund industry. HFR and SGAM AI provide the optimum combination of a leading hedge fund index provider and an active hedge fund manager to provide both transparency and value-added to investors.'
SGAM AI strengthens specialised hedge funds marketing teams
Assayag also noted that Société Générale Asset Management Alternative Investments (SGAM AI) has taken a significant step in the development of its hedge fund business by recruiting regional heads of sales for North America, Asia ex-Japan, Japan and Europe and the Middle East. This will establish a sales force which is expected to include around 20 specialists by the end of 2006.
With the additional support of the 400 sales staff of the SGAM Group, SGAM AI intends to further expand its hedge fund business, whose assets under management almost doubled in one year to stand at EUR 5.6 6.7 billion at the end of December 2005.
Todd Ladda, who joined TCW in August 2005, heads the joint TCW/SGAM AI team for the United States. Ladda's 20-year career includes ten years in hedge fund sales for Oppenheimer and Alkeon. He is based in New York.
Since December 2005, Christophe Lalo has been based in Hong Kong as Regional Head of Sales and Marketing, Hedge Funds, in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, where he is assisted by senior hedge funds salesman Jackson Chan. Christophe, who has 20 years experience in capital market sales, was previously Head of Sales and Marketing in Paris, where he oversaw the development of hedge funds in Asia Pacific.
Hidehiro Nakayama took charge of hedge fund sales in Japan in December 2005. Nakayama has 20 years' investment banking experience, both in asset management and alternative products sales for groups including Sumitomo Mitsui AM and Sakura.
Alastair Smith joined SGAM AI in February 2006 as Head of European and Middle East Hedge Fund Sales. Based in London, Smith has 14 years' experience in hedge fund sales for Aspect Capital, GAM and Man Group. He is assisted by Corinne André, who is responsible for sales to French-speaking institutions. Working with SGAM AI's structured products unit, she is also in charge of selling alternative investment solutions structured on hedge funds. Corinne joined SGAM AI in October 2000, after seven years' experience in derivative products.
Assayag said: 'Our inflows into hedge funds went up by 20 per cent in Q1 this year, confirming the strength of the platform we have built up since 2000. The creation of a high-level specialised sales force emphasises our ambition to accelerate our growth in this asset class even further.'
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