Escher UK Asset Management, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Escher Group, is re-launching its UK operation, adopting a new strategy for its multi-manager products.
The company, which in March took over SuperFlex, the ‘manager of managers’ operation run by William Mercer, has changed its investment managers line-up and introduced the concept of having more than one manager per fund with complementary risk profiles.
“At the moment we are at quite an advanced stage because we took over an existing operation,” says Stewart Gordon, managing director at Escher in London. Combining the operations in South Africa and the UK, the firm has over £1bn (e1.7bn) ssets under management and it’s primarily focused on institutional clients.
“At the moment we are concentrating on the UK market, although in the future we’ll expand our strategy across Europe,” Gordon says. “We believe that for a medium or small size pension fund using multi –manager arrangement has tremendous advantages because enables them to get good returns at low risk.”
The offer of multi-manager products has increased significantly. “We see more investment houses going into this field, but what certainly distances us from our competitors is that we also offer passive investment, which I think it’s something fairly unique among multi-managers.”
Another recently established firm offering muti-manager products, Luxembourg-based Premium Select Lux, has just won its first major client. The E102.2m mandate, awarded by life insurer Atlanticlux , will be managed following a tailor made ‘best in class’ multi-manager approach.
“There is an enormous growth of new opportunities in all asset classes and no one investment house can employ all of the best fund managers,” says Sohail Jaffer, managing director at Premium. Jaffer believes that this appointment is an important first step in their plans to offer specialist multi-manager products on a global basis.
Premium Select Lux is a member of the Munich-based financial services group FWU.