Umberto Borghesi, Strategist, Albemarle Asset Management
A difficult market environment gives those managers able to differentiate themselves from an alpha perspective the opportunity to thrive. This also plays into the growing investor demand for high quality boutique managers, offering targeted strategies.
“This current environment is difficult, but also presents opportunities,” says Umberto Borghesi, strategist at Albemarle Asset Management, “although the increased uncertainty and its ramifications for the economic outlook are challenging, we can be best prepared for this by sticking to our process and being prepared to act both pre-emptively and after the fact, in order to generate the best possible returns for our clients.”
Against this backdrop, investors should see the best opportunities, both to protect capital in the negatives and outperform regardless of market scenarios. “We see boutique asset managers as a great option to achieve both of these goals, as well as to diversify a portfolio,” Borghesi outlines.
Albemarle observes that demand for high quality boutique managers has grown in certain areas. This has also resulted in a higher level of engagement with the investment team at the firm. Borghesi notes: “Select client groups are increasingly seeing the value of targeted strategies that deliver high quality and differentiated returns. This is something that we, as a boutique investment manager, are able to provide. As a result, we are seeing increased requests for due diligence, and subsequent investment once our quality has been confirmed, thus driving growth from an asset perspective.”
The market shift towards value has also proven useful for the firm, given some of its products have a value tilt. Further, there is an increasing focus on funds such as those offered by Albemarle which have performed strongly in the previous growth-led environment.
The firm pledges to continue to adapt and grow in line with client needs and demands. Borghesi details: “We feel that in finding the correct opportunity to bring innovative solutions to the market with the highest quality team allows our existing and new clients to have faith in the breadth of our offering, ensuring they receive the same high quality of returns and service across the board, while showing our ability to adapt to demand with the right opportunity.”
With a strong outlook for boutiques, Albemarle plans to grow its existing product suite, both through continued fundraising and organic, performance-led growth. In the firm’s words: “Increased growth from our current size is beneficial to our clients, as it will allow us to invest further in all aspects of the firm in order to better service them.
“This can be through improved client coverage, and access to the team/portfolio, or purely to continue to grow our competitive advantage in the spaces we currently occupy. If we were to expand our product offering, this would be with the interests of our clients at the forefront, potentially helping to offer them an increasingly diversified, high-quality set of investment solutions.”
Umberto has over 30 years’ experience in finance. He started his career working for Italian banks, then for seven years worked as a financial advisor at Lemanik Asset Management, giving recommendations to Lemanik Italy (Flexible Balanced Fund), Arcipelagos High Growth (Equity Italy Fund) and Arcipelagos Eurostrategy (Euro Bond Fund). In 2007 he took over Albemarle Asset Management.