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Alain De Coster: Institutions shift to long-short hedge funds for equity exposure

Hedge Funds
by trusted insight posted 5years ago 6822 views
From OpalesqueTV Alain De Coster co-founded fund of funds ABS Investment Management to capitalize on his investment team’s expertise in building successful fund of funds businesses that specialize globally in equity long-short strategies. After developing businesses at Garantia and then at Credit Suisse Asset Management, Alain and his team founded ABS in 2002 and have grown the business to $3.7bln in AUM, primarily from institutional investors. In this Opalesque.TV interview, Alain describes the foundation of ABS to become one of the first funds of funds to be dedicated solely to equity long-short on a global scale. As he recognized the opportunities in emerging markets as they became more sophisticated to allow both long and short positions, Alain describes the advantages of maintaining a global presence to monitor all markets and invest early, including Day 1 investing. He discusses the advantages of his investment process in building and tailoring all systems and practices to the dedicated equity long-short space, an investment process which is becoming increasingly important to comply with institutional investors’ shift to equity long-short hedge funds to replace equity in their portfolios. Alain also warns about the dangers of investing solely based on track record which he finds can be misrepresentative of managers’ ability to produce future returns. In addition, learn about the following: * ABS portfolio management – optimize a bottom-up diversification process *Accelerating evolution of institutional allocations from equity to equity long-short * Quality of professionals and processes is increasingly important to consistently challenge managers * A global reach on the investment side and client side * Maintaining in-depth market familiarity with all equity long-short sectors and managers * The Fallacy of Track Records Bio: Alain De Coster is a Portfolio Manager at ABS. He was previously Managing Director and head of Credit Suisse Asset Management's Alternative Investments Group. At CSAM, Mr. De Coster managed a group of eight professionals while growing the department's assets under management (AUM) from US$ 500 Million to US$ 3.5 Billion at the time of his departure. The AUM were allocated among 7 different absolute return strategies, each with its own risk-return profile. While at CSAM, Mr. De Coster built one of the best multi-manager track records in the industry. Mr. De Coster joined CSAM in 1998 as a result of Credit Suisse Group's acquisition of Garantia, the Brazilian investment bank. Mr. De Coster originated the Alternative Asset Management Group at Garantia as a stand-alone and profitable business unit. Garantia and its affiliates formed one of the largest and best performing private investment groups in Brazil. In 1994, he formulated and implemented the investment strategies for the Garantia Fund of Funds, which at the end of 1997 was managing over US$ 900 Million for 340 investors. During these years, he developed relationships with the most successful fund managers in the industry. Before joining Garantia in 1992, he was co-responsible for the treasury activities of Société Générale de Belgique. From 1986 to 1989, Mr. De Coster had several financial responsibilities at Dow Chemical Co., culminating as manager of all foreign exchange operations at the corporate headquarters. From 1984 to 1986, he was a corporate foreign exchange dealer at Continental Illinois. He started his career at Credit Général in Belgium and was responsible for the domestic treasury of the Bank. Mr. De Coster holds a Licentiate's degree in Economics from the Institut Catholique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Brussels, Belgium.