Independent asset manager MPC Investors has recruited Ajay Gambhir from JPMorgan Asset Management, where he was managing director and led the European high alpha team, to launch a new European hedge fund.
As head of the high alpha team within JPMorgan's European equity group, he was responsible for the management of more than USD8bn of assets, and he personally managed USD6bn of assets in either absolute return or unconstrained vehicles.
Gambhir, who was the sole portfolio manager for the JPMorgan Europe Dynamic Long Short hedge fund, will be launching a similar fund at MPC, following his highly successful strategy.
At JPMorgan, Ajay returned 31.5 per cent in 2005 and 40.2 per cent last year net of fees. Over the three years to the end of last year, the Europe Dynamic Long Short hedge, which had USD400m in assets at the end of February, returned 104.7 per cent with a Sharpe ratio of 3.1.
Gambhir was also instrumental in the development of the Dynamic mutual funds at JPMorgan and was sole or joint portfolio manager since launch on all the European and UK Dynamic funds, which have all generated exceptional performance and produced top decile performance in their respective sectors.
Says MPC Investors chief executive Peter Harrison: 'Ajay has generated exceptionally high returns for his investors over the years and has been one of the industry's most consistent fund managers, with an ability to prevail in both bull and bear market environments.
'Over the past ten years Ajay's record at JPMorgan focused almost exclusively on him building highly successful high alpha and hedge fund mandates in the UK and Europe. He brings a rigorous approach to fundamental analysis and stock-picking with a distinct focus on contrarian value and under-recognised growth opportunities.
'Those that know Ajay will be aware of his absolute focus and performance, not least through limiting fund capacity and the highest fiduciary standards. His values and beliefs are an extremely good fit with the ethos of MPC.'
Before joining JPMorgan Gambhir worked in corporate finance at NM Rothschild between 1991 and 1997, specialising in mergers, acquisitions and international privatisations. He previously he worked in the private equity sector, and in industry in the field of telecommunications and semiconductors.
MPC Investors, which was founded in 2000 and has assets of USD1.3bn under management, says its partnership structure ensures a long-term perspective toward investment performance and client relationships, and seeks to deliver consistent risk-controlled returns in alternative and traditional funds.
Last year the firm recruited Miles Geldard and Lee Manzi from JPMorgan Asset Management. Geldard had been chief investment officer and head of multi assets, responsible for USD30bn of assets and managing USD7bn personally, and worked closely with Manzi, who ran the fixed-income portion of the JPM UK Equity and Bond Income Fund.
MPC has since launched two Luxembourg funds, MPC Global Convertibles and MPC Strategic Reserve, which are awaiting authorisation in the UK, and announced plans to launch a hedge fund, the MPC Strategic Opportunities Fund.
MPC also manages long/short strategies including the MPC Pilgrim Fund and MPC Pilgrim Select Fund. The Pilgrim Fund is an Anglo-European long/short equity fund with around GBP500m in assets which has delivered a net return of over 96 per cent since launch, while the Pilgrim Select Fund is a European long/short equity fund which leverages the track record of the Pilgrim Fund to target higher returns.