GAM Systematic’s assets tumble as investors flee Core Macro and Alternative Risk Premia funds

Falling man

GAM Systematic, the Cambridge-based quantitative investment management unit of Swiss-headquartered global asset manager GAM, saw its assets tumble in the first half of 2020 as investors withdrew CHF900 million (USD981.3 million).

Altogether, GAM Systematic’s assets shrank from CHF4.4 billion (USD4.8 billon) at the start of the year to CHF2.8 billion (USD3 billion) at the end of June, according to GAM’s H1 results statement on Tuesday.

Investors yanked some CHF900 million from the GAM Systematic Core Macro and GAM Systematic Alternative Risk Premia strategies, while market and FX movements wiped off another CHF700 million from the business.

GAM Systematic manages an assortment of quantitative hedge fund and long-only investment strategies that span equities, debt and multi-asset classes.

The unit is led by Anthony Lawler, head of GAM Systematic, a former Man Group portfolio manager who was previously head of portfolio management at GAM’s Alternative Investments Solutions (AIS) group, and president Ewan Kirk, co-founder and former CIO of Cantab Capital Partners, which was acquired by GAM in 2016 and integrated into its then-newly launched GAM Systematic quantitative investment platform.

Overall, GAM saw its total assets under management contract by about CHF13 billion during H1, from CHF48.4 billion on 31 December 2019 to CHF35.5 billion on 30 June 2020.

GAM’s Absolute Return strategies suffered net outflows of CHF200 million, primarily driven by redemptions from the GAM Star Lux Merger Arbitrage and European Alpha funds during March. Further negative market and FX movements of CHF100 million left assets at CHF800 million altogether, down from CHF1.1 billion at the start of the year.

GAM’s Alternatives fund recorded net outflows of CHF700 million, mainly from the GAM Alternative Beta and GAM Multi-Emerging Market funds. Together with negative market and FX movements of CHF100 million, GAM’s Alternatives AUM stood at CHF1.3 billion as of 30 June, down from CHF2.1 billion in January.

Commenting on the results, group CEO Peter Sanderson said investment performance across the group’s strategies has improved during the six-month period, pointing to “materially lower outflows” in Q2 compared to Q1.

“Clients are looking for investment themes which transcend the current economic outlook and GAM is well positioned to provide these with our specialist actively managed strategies,” Sanderson said.