(pictured: Chris Thompson)
BT Financial Group is to shift about $800 million in international alternatives assets to GMO, with the US hedge fund-of-funds manager Ramius understood to be the main loser, in a rejig of its $3.2 billion alternatives portfolios for retail investors.
The move follows some significant personnel changes at BTFG, including the recent departure of Chris Thompson, who was head of alternatives for the last seven years. He had been at BTFG more than 10 years.
In May, BTFG chief executive Patrick Farrell left after nine years with the firm, to be replaced by the internal appointment of Martyn Wild. Farrell is now CIO of Suncorp.
Ramius had appointed nearly 20 underlying managers in the main Advance Alternatives Strategies multi-blend fund for BTFG, across six asset sub-classes, including cash. They included big-name managers such as BlackRock, AQR and Winton, and Australians Regal Funds Management and Kapstream for cash. The fund’s performance has been below benchmark over the past three years.
GMO, a value-oriented quant shop, is one of the few US-owned managers which runs one of its global strategies from Australia.