19 September 2016

AXA IM announces raft of senior hires for new absolute return team

Published by Investment Week – 19th September 2016

AXA Investment Managers has made a number of senior hires for its new liquid absolute return strategies team, called AXA IM Chorus.

Jérôme Brochard and Hector Chan are set to take on co-chief investment officer roles, having joined the group from Goldman Sachs.

Brochard previously worked as a managing director in the equities division at the investment bank, and is co-founder of capital markets trading company Nexgen Group, now owned by Natixis.

Chan was also a managing director and head of Asia Pacific FICC Structuring at Goldman Sachs, and was responsible for the Asia Pacific ex-Japan Interest Rate and Foreign Exchange Structuring team at BNP Paribas.

Meanwhile, Augustin Landier, a visiting professor of finance at Harvard Business School, has been appointed as head of research at AXA IM Chorus. He will continue to work at Harvard following his appointment at AXA.

In addition, Ahcène Garèche has been appointed as senior quant researcher from hedge fund Marshall Wace, while Philippe Muller has joined as chief technology development officer from adtech company Criteo, where he was a senior engineering lead.

It was announced in April that AXA IM Chorus will be led by managing director Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard (pictured), who joined AXA IM earlier this year to create the new division.

The Chorus team now has 16 members and will be based in Hong Kong, with a view to growing over the coming months.

It will focus on building liquid absolute return strategies and creating a diversified portfolio with low correlation to traditional asset classes.

The group aims to start marketing the strategies next year, subject to regulatory approval, and it is fully integrated with the rest of AXA IM.

Commenting on the appointments, Juillard said: “We are excited by the talent AXA IM Chorus has been able to attract as the quality of our team is central to the offering we are building for clients.

“While liquid absolute return strategies are not new, we see demand for them increasing and believe that our approach, powered by a team of some of the brightest and best from the buy and sell side, as well as research and technology, will offer clients an exciting and differentiated proposition.

“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.

“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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