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AXA IM Unveils New Absolute Return Investment Team

Amisha Mehta Deputy Editor 20 September 2016

AXA IM Unveils New Absolute Return Investment Team

AXA Investment Managers, part of France’s AXA Group, has introduced its new Asia-based team, which includes two executives from Goldman Sachs.

AXA Investment Managers has given details of AXA IM Chorus, its new 16-strong investment team in Hong Kong, focusing on liquid absolute return strategies. 

AXA IM first announced it was building the team in April this year when Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard re-joined the firm, becoming managing director of AXA IM Chorus. Since then, it has hired Jérôme Brochard and Hector Chan as co-chief investment officers, Augustin Landier as head of research, Ahcène Garèche as senior quant researcher and Philippe Muller as chief technology development officer. 

Brochard joins from Goldman Sachs where he was managing director in the equities division, in charge of the systematic trading strategies team. Previously, he was co-founder of Nexgen Group, a capital markets trading company now owned by Natixis. He started his career at AXA.

Chan also joins from Goldman Sachs where he was managing director and head of Asia-Pacific FICC structuring. Before Goldman Sachs, he was responsible for the Asia-Pacific ex-Japan interest rate and foreign exchange structuring team at BNP Paribas.

Landier is a visiting professor of finance at Harvard Business School and will continue this role alongside his new position as head of research at AXA IM Chorus. He has taught at New York University and the University of Chicago, and was a resident scholar at the International Monetary Fund.

Garèche joins from Marshall Wace where he was a quantitative researcher for the hedge fund and Muller joins from adtech company Criteo where he was a senior engineering lead. Muller brings experience in software development and infrastructure, and has previously worked at Capital Fund Management.

AXA IM Chorus aims to create a diversified portfolio with low correlation to traditional asset classes. Subject to the regulatory approvals, it will start marketing liquid absolute return strategies to clients in 2017. The firm will be looking to grow the team further over the coming months.

“With more and more data becoming available on economic activity, markets and individual companies, we are looking to identify and capture tradable premia ‘engines’ to create portfolios with a low correlation to the overall market and an attractive risk-return profile,” said Juillard.

“Our strategy will focus on using our clients’ risk budget sensibly to generate returns while offering them stability. This is particularly important now in the context of heightened uncertainty and volatility in global financial markets. We want to provide clients with an attractive solution to the risk-return trade-off, without losing liquidity and scalability.”

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