H2O acquires systematic commodity manager

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London-based boutique H2O Asset Management has acquired a 51% majority stake in systematic commodity manager Arctic Blue Capital from Stable Asset Management, H2O’s chief executive officer Bruno Crastes has announced in a letter released on the firm’s website.

“This first acquisition is part of our strategy of revenue diversification due to growing management capacity constraints,” said Crastes.

According to the terms of the transaction subject to regulatory approval, H2O will provide extensive infrastructure and operational support to enable Arctic Blue to pursue its next level of growth.

Arctic Blue, which manages around $200m (€175.6m) of assets, will continue to be led by chief investment officer and founder Jean-Jacques Duhot. Its Arctic Blue Original Strategy and Atlanterra Strategy funds will be added to the H2O distribution platform.

Crastes added: “Arctic Blue’s systematic commodity-focused strategies perfectly complement our existing suite of products. In fact, we already share a number of top tier clients and we look forward to increasing this number as a combined entity.”

Cyril Beriot, head of Managed Accounts at H2O, said: “This deal is timely given current market conditions. We expect the global economy to enter a reflationary phase over the short-to-medium term and our clients will now benefit from a suite of high-quality strategies across all asset classes that are perfectly suited to this new environment.”

Jean-Jacques Duhot, founder of Arctic Blue, scommented: “Joining with H2O will enable us to bring the best possible investment strategies in commodities to new and existing investors. Like H2O, we are a specialist team combining strong expertise in our sector to deliver the best returns for our investors. We look forward to pursuing our next level of growth as part of the H2O team.”

Erik Serrano Berntsen, CEO of Stable, said: “This transaction represents the exit of another successful seed investment for Stable, as we turn our focus towards building our next portfolio of specialist managers through the Stable Seed Fund. We couldn’t have found a better partner than H2O to continue supporting their success and look forward to seeing Arctic Blue going from strength to strength.”

H2O has $14.6bn (€12.8bn) of assets under management.

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