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Wealth Manager: L&C CIO Morilla-Giner explains his enduring love of hedge funds

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by Annabelle Williams on Jan 24, 2013 at 00:01

With the retail distribution review now in force, wealth managers are turning their attention to the next regulatory challenge on the horizon: the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca).

London & Capital has been aiming to stay ahead of the pack by preparing its business for the upcoming legislation, and has been developing an expertise for clients who may be struggling.

As awareness of Fatca grows, chief investment officer Pau Morilla-Giner says asset growth over the past year has been strongest in this area of the business.

‘The US team has been doing really well on the back of changing legislation,’ he says.

‘A lot of asset managers can’t take care of US clients any more because of the reporting that they need to do. We now have an immigration division that is doing well.’

The firm celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, having grown from start-up to a company with 12 investment staff and a total of 90 employees.

Assets now stand at  $3.7 billion (£2.33 billion), spread across 600 family clients, and this hefty sum is now under the watchful eye of Morilla-Giner, who took over as CIO last year from Ashok Shah as he scaled back his commitments ahead of retirement.

Morilla-Giner has a background in alternative investment and he is a keen supporter of hedge funds – so it’s no surprise that hedgies are the only third-party funds to feature in the firm’s bespoke portfolios. It invests in third party funds through its managed portfolio service but the only pooled investments that clients of the bespoke service will be exposed to are hedge funds.

Hedged strategies have fallen out of favour with some investors, and despite the best attempts to market them as low volatility strategies, they remain associated with the kind of risk-taking most investors hope to avoid. However, Morilla-Giner believes this is unfair.

 

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