GERMANY – German boutique asset manager Lupus alpha’s “talent hotel” for new managers could soon be full, says Ulf Becker, partner in the firm’s alternative solutions department.

Speaking at the SuperHedge conference in Frankfurt this week, he described the firm’s initiative as being to fund five new managers with seed money and give them two years to run their investment strategies without interference.

Becker said: “We hope to provide up to €75m in seed capital to these managers to be run according to their strategies.”

The aim is to ‘close the gap’ between the opportunities for managers in Germany compared with the US and UK. While the managers could be located anywhere, Lupus alpha will provide the back office, risk management and other operational services, b explained. This would enable the managers to concentrate on running their portfolios.

“They don’t want to manage a business.” The vehicle to be used is a fund of fund vehicle which could be used for both hedge funds and long-only strategies,” he said. Lupus alpha is approaching clients and other sources to raise the capital for investment. These investors would form an investment committee to oversee the project.

“The idea is to give the new managers all the freedoms they need to manage money successfully,” said Becker. He pointed out that there were still a stigma to failure for managers setting up on their own in Germany and not succeeding. This did not apply in the US.

Becker is 99% confident that the firm would raise sufficient capital for the initiative to be put in place. “We hope to have the first stage in place by the end of September.”

If this is successful, he said, he would like to see it build up to include eight to 10 strategies over time.

Earlier this month IPE reported that Lupus had opened a new sales office in Vienna as part of a push into the Austrian institutional market.