Insparo Asset Management has appointed commodity specialist Lucas Wurfbain to oversee a new global food fund, expected to be launched later this year.
Wurfbain brings with him a wealth of experience in the commodity space, having worked at Fortress Investment Group, Rubicon Fund Management and Global Asset Management (GAM). Wurfbain has worked both in London and in Asia and has travelled extensively throughout his career.
Wurfbain joins Insparo’s six-strong investment team, led by CIO Mohammed Hanif, which manages the firm’s frontier market products.
The firm’s existing funds, the Insparo Africa Equity Fund (IAEF) and the flagship Insparo Africa and Middle East Fund (IAMEF), have performed well since their launch.
The IAMEF has returned over 49 per cent with low volatility since launch in 2008. Meanwhile, the IAEF returned 23 per cent in 2012 and is now +10 per cent since launch two years ago. Performance for both puts them firmly at the forefront of their peer group.
Insparo will apply the firm’s successful investment approach to the global food market, aided by Lucas’ expert knowledge of the commodities industry. With the spotlight firmly on rising food prices and rapidly shrinking global food resources, Insparo believes the new fund will be ideally placed to capitalise on the growing dislocations in the market when it launches later in the year.
Hanif says: “Lucas is an excellent hire for us, and brings precisely the kind of skills and experience we were looking for. As well as strengthening the investment team’s existing skillset, he will be the portfolio manager of our planned food fund and have a key role in other initiatives. To be successful with a fund like that you need a team that understands both the short term opportunities of commodities markets, and their long term cyclical nature. Lucas’ addition gives us a huge advantage in that area. In addition to his investment role we look forward to welcoming him as a member of our management team.”
Wurfbain says: “It is very exciting to be joining Insparo. In the short time since its launch the firm has established itself as one of the most dynamic managers investing in next generation markets. I believe I am joining a firm whose track record speaks for itself, and I look forward to helping them maintain and enhance that record as the company plans its move into new investment arenas.”