RAM Active Investments, the Swiss boutique has developed from its historical base focused on French speaking markets in Switzerland and France to other parts of Europe including UK and the Nordics.
The focus for the region has been on equity funds. Historically RAM has been known primarily for its long-only systematic strategies, which have been running since 2004 on European Equities, 2005 on North American Equities & 2009 on Emerging Markets Equities.
The funds are all based on the same investment process and methodology; identifying market inefficiencies through an all-cap and unbiased bottom-up approach, based on the fundamentals of companies.
In 2011 RAM has also launched two L/S Beta Neutral Strategies, one on European Equities and one on Emerging Markets Equities. This is, therefore, still a relatively new area for the manager, which has grown its AUM across all markets in excess of $4bn from $2bn at the time of entry into the Nordic region, late 2012.
Traction in the Nordic region was initially led by the emerging market long-only strategy.
“At the start, this is what helped us gain traction from Nordics investors. At the time a lot of competitors were soft closing their own emerging market funds or were having performance challenges also due to their growing size,” Chevalier (pictured) says.
“In Finland some large institutions have invested, the number of individual investors is lower than in Sweden but the tickets are of considerable size. In Sweden the tickets are of varying size but we have a larger base of investors across all types of institutions.”
However, there has been a change in terms of the focus: from having a long only presence, RAM has added long/short European and emerging market strategies to its stable, and there is now growing interest in the type of low beta strategies that these represent.
Responses do vary somewhat depending on the needs of the various institutions, she adds: “With the way markets have been this year and last year the beta neutral strategies have gained a lot of interest in the past months, trends are less clear and I see little consensus between investors on which region or asset class to favour for the coming year.”
“The clear trend though, for all investors, seems to be a desperate need to find new sources of Yield as well as alternatives to fixed income. That’s where our long/short strategies can be attractive, simply because there is virtually no correlation to equity and fixed income markets.”
Chevalier says that her time is still focused on the relevant capital cities in the region, where she says she has “enough already to do”. At some stage she will start to visit second and third tier cities
“Our strategies have limited capacity, so big mass selling with retail clients and large platforms is not really our focus right now. But, we don’t just focus on the large known names; we go to family offices, private banks, funds of funds, consultants, pension funds, insurers, virtually all institutions which have a mandate to invest in externally managed funds.”
InvestmentEurope’s Pan-Nordic Fund Selector Summit took place 10-11 March.
Click here to view photos from the event: http://www.investmenteurope.net/events/pan-nordic-summit-day-1-pictures/