(Pictured: Tim Martin)
Tyndall Asset Management has folded its alternatives business in with the management of core asset classes and made Tim Martin, who headed the unit, redundant. The firm, owned by Nikko Asset Management, has also let go its head of sales and marketing, Matt Russell.
The Tyndall alternatives business, which focused on private debt, was launched by Martin in 2012 after Nikko acquired the boutique manager, Causeway Financial, which he and Mike Davis founded in 2003. Nikko took over the five Causeway staff and appointed Davis as its group chief executive for Australia in 2012.
A Tyndall spokesperson said last week that blending the alternatives business with the core teams was the way markets and consultants were headed. The redundancies in the sales and investor solutions teams were part of a global restructure at Nikko AM. Vincent lo Blanco, who joined Tyndall from BlackRock in 2012, is the new head of distribution for the firm.
Tyndall has been integrating its strategies with those of Nikko in the past couple of years to present a better global offering to the market. It has also expanded in Asia with the purchase of Treasury Group’s Asian equities business and built up a multi-asset offering based in Singapore under Australian manager Al Clark, as reported recently.
But the alternatives area has proved a struggle, as it is for a lot of Australian-based managers. It seems that super funds prefer US or UK-based hedge fund managers, and increasingly private equity managers, because of better access to international markets. Infrastructure and property remain the exceptions.
This is an issue which will be discussed, again, at the next annual AIMA conference, which is being held in Sydney on September 16. Australian hedge fund managers have tended to be more successful obtaining funding from local family offices and high-net-worth individuals than super funds, compared with their North American and European counterparts.
Martin and Davis worked together at Merrill Lunch in the late 1980s, where Martin was involved in trading and private debt markets and Davis headed up the former Merrill Lynch Investment Management. They formed Causeway with the aim of helping medium-sized companies raise private debt funding due to lack of interest in that sector by the big banks.
Matt Russell, meanwhile, was head of institutional sales for Tyndall until 2012, when he was promoted to head up all sales and marketing across the firm.