EUROPE – South African investment firm, Gensec International Asset Management, has rebranded itself to become io investors, in a bid to refocus its multi-manager offering to the European market.

Earlier this year the firm merged with UK consulting actuary and pension administrator Punter Southall and John Conroy, a partner at io says
the merger was one of the factors leading to a reappraisal of the opportunities available in Europe and what he calls the “freshening effect” of a rebrand.

“ As a firm we have around $3bn under management mainly on behalf of our South African client base. In three years time we want that money to be 50% of our business and we want the other half of that money to be sourced from third party client relationships.
“It’s a refocus on where we want the business to go. We’re focusing on the markets where there is money to invest, the UK in particular along with other markets in Europe that are looking to use the kind of products we are offering, “ says Conroy.

Conroy says the product offering now includes a hedge fund of funds arrangement that will be added to during 2002.
“ We have launched a low volatility fund of hedge funds products, which is different to our other manager of manager products.
“It includes long/short strategies but is low volatility.
“This is one in what is going to be a range of hedge fund of funds that we are looking to launch in the next 12 months with a probable move along the spectrum of risk and return.”

The company explains that the rebranding alludes to io – one of Jupiter’s moons, which it believes reflects specific characteristics of the firm.
“ The moon io has a very stable but nevertheless flexible and changing atmosphere, which we think represents our desire to get our clients to the right place,” notes Conroy.