Robert Lee and Ammalan Annalingam are Co-Heads of Multi-Asset Investments at boutique wealth manager Signia.
The firm has assets of approximately GBP1.3 billion and offers a short list of ultra-high net worth clients access to investment solutions in the liquid multi-asset space, the less liquid hedge fund space, and very select private capital offerings.
Michael Rosenthal is the firm’s CIO and also runs the hedge fund proposition.
Annalingam says: “We have a wide-ranging mandate so we offer fairly typical private wealth global multi asset investments in equity, fixed income and currencies, but we can also go into commodities and hedge funds.”
They can also short markets using derivatives, mostly in equities or currencies where they want to hedge exposure or take tactical positions.
Lee comments that segments of the portfolio are actively managed in-house, particularly in fixed income and derivatives where direct investments are made. The remainder of the portfolio is mostly invested via active and passive funds where they have institutional levels of access and fees.
Lee says: “In fixed income markets we invest directly in global sovereign, supranational and agency bonds, whilst on the derivatives side we invest in equity index options on the main bourses such as the S&P 500, EuroStoxx 50 and FTSE 100.”
The pair also have access to Rosenthal’s hedge fund expertise and use structured products to comprise the alternatives segment of the multi asset offering.
Lee says: “We have relationships with some of the best investment banks on the street, where we source investment solutions to bring in products to the portfolio that will provide uncorrelated returns and diversification benefits to other traditional asset classes such as equities and fixed income.”
A recent trade involved an option on a US interest rate yield curve steepener. Annalingam explains: “It makes money if the US yield curve steepens. This is not an asset class that we can play easily ourselves but via a bank and a structured product we can get exposure to those sorts of products and themes.”
Additionally, Annalingam explains Signia portfolios have exposure to asset classes as diverse as interest rate volatility and equity dispersion.
With over 20 staff but a small number of ultra-high net worth clients, each client has quite a sizeable portfolio with Signia. Lee says that the aim is to provide an institutional level of service while maintaining a boutique feel and experience so that each client gets a tailored solution and service.
“Each client’s needs are complex and each has different requirements so we ensure that the optimal level of resources and expertise are available to them” he says.
Signia clients also have access to exclusive private capital deals, which are sourced from Signia’s extensive network including prospective and existing clients who tend to have come from entrepreneurial backgrounds.
“We actively seek opportunities for clients to invest alongside some of industry’s leading experts and entrepreneurs in alternative asset classes. For example, we recently closed funding for a technology venture capital fund.” n
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