Pictet eyes long-term growth stocks with new market neutral global equities hedge fund launch

Global connections

Pictet Asset Management, the investment management arm of the Geneva-headquartered wealth management giant Pictet Group, has unveiled a new market neutral global equity hedge fund which trades liquid US and European stocks, with a low correlation to broader equity markets.

Pictet TR-Aquila aims to generate long-term growth investing across healthcare, TMT and consumer names, and will avoid companies and sectors that are heavily influenced by macroeconomic trends.

The new strategy is a UCITS compliant version of an existing market neutral global equity hedge fund strategy managed internally by Pictet’s Aquila team within the firm’s multi-strategy funds offering.

It is the tenth fund to be launched as part of Pictet Asset Management’s USD9.5 billion Total Return fund range, which also includes Agora, the large-cap European equities catalyst-driven market neutral hedge fund launched by ex-Goldman Sachs trader Elif Aktuğ.

The new Pictet TR-Aquila launch – which is being offered to external investors for the first time – will be run by a London-based team led by Asim Nurmohamed and supported by Alexandre Diogo and Bharat Garg.

Doc Horn, Pictet’s head of Total Return Equities, described the new fund launch as “a unique strategy within the UCITS landscape” offering diversification within investor portfolios.

The new roll-out comes amid signs of a sharp slowdown in new hedge fund launches globally this year. Data released by recently Preqin suggests new hedge fund inceptions slumped two-thirds in the second quarter - from 182 new launches in the first three months of 2020 to just 59 in Q2.

Pictet Asset Management manages a total of USD209 billion across a wide range of investment strategies.

Along with the long-running Agora fund, Pictet’s market neutral funds include the Japanese equities-focused Akari, and Diversified Alpha, a multi-strategy fund.

Also in the Total Return range are the equity long/short directional funds Corto, which trades European equities, Mandarin, which has a Greater China equities focus, and Atlas, a global equities strategy. There are also the Pictet Distressed and Special Situations fund, the global fixed income-focused Kosmos fund, and Sirius, an EMD long/short strategy.