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​Ex-ATP CIO Graven Larsen to launch all-weather strategy

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Former ATP investment chief Bjarne Graven Larsen is set to launch an all-weather, multi-strategy risk premia fund through his new firm Qblue Capital.

The Copenhagen-based manager — founded in October last year — expects to launch the Qblue Luxembourg fund in the next few months.

Qblue said the new fund was targeted at international professional investors. Its strategy spreads investment across equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies.

Graven Larsen, chief executive of Qblue Capital, said: “Based on our collective experience, we want to help institutional investors achieve their objectives by developing and delivering robust and sustainable investment solutions with superior risk-adjusted returns at an attractive price.”

Qblue said that, although the traditional portfolio model with 60% equities and 40% bonds had performed well in the past, current trends and decreasing interest rates suggested there was no guarantee that this was the best way forward. The timing of its new multi-strategy alternative risk premia product was no coincidence, the firm said. 

Qblue said its Luxembourg product had been constructed to offer investors “a new building block that truly diversifies the portfolio and at the same time performs independent of whether equity markets are up or down”.

During his 11 years as CIO of ATP, Graven Larsen overhauled the now DKK785bn (€105bn) fund’s ‘bonus-reserves’ investment portfolio. While the portfolio’s investments had fallen into just two categories, low risk bonds and return-seeking equities, under Graven Larsen in 2006 it was revamped to focus on five types of risk: equity, credit, nominal interest rate, inflation and commodity.

ATP’s investment portfolio construction was further overhauled in 2015-16 under chief executive Carsten Stendevad, creating a fund consisting of four risk factors, or “building blocks”, which was in part inspired by the All-Weather Portfolio devised by Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio.

Graven Larsen was most recently CIO and executive vice president of one of Canada’s largest pension funds, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, from February 2016 to June 2018.

As well as Graven Larsen, Qblue’s staff is largely made up of other former ATP staff, including co-founders Fredrik Martinsson (former CIO Investments at ATP), Martin Richter, Thomas Stryger Olsen, Lars Voss Toft and Lars Hougaard Nielsen, as well as Kevin Mitchell, former portfolio manager at Kiski Europe.

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