Category Archives: Interview

Interview with Detlef Glow, Thomson Reuters Lipper

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detlef-glowDetlef Glow is Head of EMEA Research at Lipper. He joined the firm in 2005 from FERI Wealth Management, where he was Director of Portfolio Management, managing segregated accounts for high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). Prior to FERI, he spent nine years with tecis Holding AG, most recently as Head of Fund Research for tecis Asset Management AG. In this role he was responsible for quantitative and qualitative fund research for the tecis fund of funds, the HNWI accounts, and the recommendation list of funds for the financial-advisor arm of tecis. Detlef has an MBA focusing on Financial Services from the University of Wales/Cardiff, as well as a BA in Business Administration

UCITSindex.com: Mr. Glow, you co-authored the European Fund Market Insight Report Q2 2016. What were the key findings?
Detlef Glow: The key findings of the report are, firstly, that the European fund industry is further into a consolidation mode; European fund promoters took 226 products off the market in Q2 2016. Secondly, even though multi-asset funds are at the moment out of investors’ favor, looking at the net new sales in multi-asset products for 2016 so far compared to 2015, mixed-asset products are the only product category showing a net increase in the number of funds during Q2 2016. Read More

Interview with Mussie Kidane, Banque Pictet & Cie SA

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Mr. Mussie Kmussie-kidaneidane is the Head of Fund Selection and heads a 7 member team responsible for selecting best-in-breed fund managers across all asset classes for Pictet Wealth Management globally. Mr. Kidane is also the portfolio manager of a US$ 2billion low volatility fund since 2007. Prior to joining Pictet, Mr. Kidane was analyst & portfolio manager within the fund selection and multimanagement team at LODH &
Cie.

UCITSindex.com: Mr. Kidane, your team is directly responsible for overseeing close to CHF 11 billion in external fund managers. What types of strategies do you invest in?
Mussie Kidane: We select and monitor a wide range of products covering equities, fixed income and real assets both active and passive investment strategies. Our mission is to build a toolbox that will help our discretionary and advisory management units implement the strategic and tactical asset allocation decisions made by the Wealth Management Investment Committee (WMIC). Read More

Interview with Holger Knauer, Catana Capital

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Holger KnauerPrior to joining Catana Capital, Holger Knauer was a board member of EUR 1.8bn Celios Investment-AG TGV and its predecessor Prisma Investment-AG TGV since 2011 which he co-founded. Before that he was with Universal Investment for more than a decade as a deputy head of department for institutional sales and relationship management.

UCITSindex.com: Although big data has been a buzzword for quite some time, the finance industry seems to be late to the party once again. Except Google’s plans to launch robo-advisors at some point in the future not much seems to happen. Why are there not more fund managers building products around big data?
Holger Knauer: Because it is not so easy to do and many fund managers are still quite relaxed in their comfort zone. With volatility in markets increasing, the accelerating negative interest environment and crowded carry trades no longer working, however, this is about to change. So investors are looking for new ways of allocating and our Big Data based asset management approach is a way to do that. There are a number of large funds experimenting with big data already, but many of them are still either trying to understand what it is all about or using it as one of many components to their existing trading strategies. Read More

Interview with Mike Judith, DNB Asset Management

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Mike JuditzMike Judith joined DNB Asset Management S.A. in June 2010. Since 2015, he has been heading both the Luxembourg-based portfolio management as well as the international sales team. Mike has also been lecturing at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany since 2007 and holds banking-related Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s in Banking Management (Dipl. Bankbetriebswirt).

UCITSindex.com: DNB set up UCITS alternative funds as early as 2007, way before most alternative asset managers even knew about the possibilities under the UCITS directive. What led to this decision?
Mike Judith: Initially, one of our long-standing customers who already trusted in our stock-picking capabilities in thematic areas, asked us to propose corresponding market neutral strategies. Based on the existing fundamental bottom-up stock selection approach, we launched market neutral funds which simply strip out unwanted beta and leave investors with our ability to generate alpha. We will complete our 10 year track record in 2017. Read More

Interview with Denise Voss, alfi

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Denise-Voss-Chairman-ALFI-2016Denise Voss is the chairman of alfi since 2015 and has been a member of the ALFI board of directors since 2007. She is also Chairman of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) Investor Education working group. Denise is Conducting Officer of Franklin Templeton Investments and has worked in the financial industry in Luxembourg since 1990.

UCITSindex.com: Mrs. Voss, alfi recently held a risk management conference. What are the biggest risks for fund managers as of today?
Denise Voss: Several well-known mega trends we face include increased geopolitical risks, the possible fragmentation of the EU, migration and social instability and a move to populist parties in some countries.  Low or nearly zero growth, our current zero/negative interest rate environment in many parts of the world and demographic changes, including the aging of the population, all have an impact on savings and therefore, investor behavior. Read More

Interview with Ted Seides, Hidden Brook Investments

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Ted is tTed Seideshe Managing Partner of Hidden Brook Investments, LLC, an advisory and private investment firm that helps asset managers and allocators with investment strategy and business execution. From 2002 to 2015, Ted was a founder of Protégé Partners LLC and served as President and Co-Chief Investment Officer. He began his career in 1992 under the tutelage of David Swensen at the Yale University Investments Office. Following business school, he spent two years investing directly at Stonebridge Partners and J.H. Whitney & Company. Ted holds a BA in economics and political science, Cum Laude, from Yale University and an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School.

UCITSindex.com: Mr. Seides, you recently published the book “So You Want to Start a Hedge Fund: Lessons for Managers and Allocators”. Tell us a bit about your personal experience that led to writing this book.
Ted Seides: Over the years, I met with hundreds, probably thousands, of start-up asset managers. From my first days in the business working for David Swensen at Yale through the last decade and a half at Protégé Partners, I spent nearly all of my professional career analyzing and investing in early stage managers. Read More

Interview with Claire Cummings, Cummings Law

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Claire Cummings qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and since then has specialised in the legal issues surrounding both funds and fund management.
As a solicitor in private practice, Claire has acted for a number of clients in the alternative investment arena and built up experience of a wide range of legal and regulatory matters. Claire has acted as in-house counsel and director of legal and compliance for a fund manager, where she was involved in the running and growth of a fund management business and worked closely with other directors, the trading and operations departments and brokerage counterparties.
In July 2002 Claire established Cummings and draws on her experience as both a lawyer and a director of a fund management company to work with her clients as they establish and build their businesses.

UCITSindex.com: Ms. Cummings, why don’t we start at the beginning: Could you as an expert explain our readers briefly what the UCITS Directive is?
Claire Cummings: Starting with a legislative answer, the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directives are a set of EU Directives that aim to allow collective investment schemes to operate freely throughout the EU on the basis of a single authorisation from one member state.  In practice, many EU Member States have imposed additional regulatory requirements which has impacted  the ability to operate freely. Read More

Interview with Stéphane Julen, Credit Suisse 

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Stéphane Julen is a Director of Credit Suisse Asset Management, based in Zurich. He is a senior portfolio manager within Alternative Funds Solutions (AFS), managing the group’s UCITS funds and portfolios for institutional and private clients. Mr. Julen also serves on the Fundamental Strategies research team covering European Equity Long/Short and Event Driven managers.

UCITSindex.com: Since November last year you managed the CS (Lux) Prima Multi-Strategy Fund, a UCITS fund of UCITS hedge funds. What is the fund’s investment strategy?
Stéphane Julen: With the Credit Suisse (Lux) Prima Multi-Strategy Fund we strive to harnesses the investment skills of some of the best alternative fund managers in a single fund structure. Many of our investors utilise the fund as a core allocation to hedge funds or because of its attractive risk return profile, as an alternative to a bond allocation. From the full universe of alternative UCITS managers we select only those that have the potential to deliver strong risk-adjusted returns. We then put these managers through our thorough institutional due diligence process to assess their investment strategy, risk controls and operational standards. Read More

Interview with Bryn Sandison, Aurum Research Limited

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Bryn SandisonBryn Sandison currently heads Aurum Research Limited’s (“Aurum”) operational due diligence function, having joined the firm in 2007. Bryn began his career at PwC auditing investment fund vehicles, later moving to PwC USA to work on developing the firm’s approach to risk analytics. Aurum has been advising a range of fund of hedge funds for over 21 years and, more recently, has been focusing on the Alt UCITS space.

UCITSindex.com: You recently voiced concerns that investors trust the UCITS brand too much. What problems do you see when investors make their investment decisions?
Bryn Sandison: Aurum’s long history of analysing hedge fund solutions has meant that we‘ve learnt through experience to spot the pitfalls behind operational risk.  We demand high standards of underlying managers if they are to be the stewards of our investors’ capital. Aurum was an early adopter in creating a dedicated operational due diligence function, whereas many competitors were late to the game, setting up operational due diligence as a reaction the losses of Madoff and the Lehman bankruptcy, which highlighted the importance of operational due diligence. Read More

Interview with Kelly Easterling, KPMG

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Kelly EasKelly Easterlingterling is an audit partner with KPMG serving the New York asset management practice. Kelly specializes in serving clients in the alternative investments industry including hedge funds and private equity funds. She advises clients on initial organizational structure and documentation, supervises audits and consults with management regarding various operations and audit matters.
Kelly began her career at Ernst & Young, where she served a broad range of client engagements. In 2002, Kelly joined Rothstein Kass to launch the Texas practice, and was promoted to principal in 2004. In 2008, Kelly transitioned from Office Managing Partner of the Firm’s Dallas-based office to Office Managing Partner of the Walnut Creek practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She joined KPMG as part of their acquisition of Rothstein Kass in July 2014 and relocated to New York in the fall of 2014. Read More