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Ambit’s Holland to join Avendus with team; KKR-controlled I-bank eyes hedge fund play

22 September, 2016

Mumbai-based Avendus Capital has hired the entire top management of Ambit Investment Advisory that includes its CEO Andrew Holland and a team of eleven members. 

Holland confirmed the development and said Wednesday was his last working day with Ambit and that he would join the asset management business of Avendus as CEO in three months. 

Ambit Investment Advisors managing director Vaibhav Sanghavi would be co-CEO of Avendus’ new business catering to the hedge funds in the long-only and long-short category, said Ranu Vohra, co-founder, Avendus.

The new business would be in addition to the existing business of Avezo Advisors Pvt Ltd (Avezo), a joint venture with Zodius Capital, headed by Neeraj Bhargava, to form a SEBI-registered portfolio management entity. Avezo has an asset under management of $200 million in investments across technology companies and PIPE deals, Vohra said.

With the launch of the business, Avendus is targeting a portfolio size of $2 billion in the next five years, he said. The new venture would function under the alternative asset management business and if needed, a brand name would be decided after the team joins by the end of the year, he said. The business would tap opportunities in the debt and equity space for domestic as well foreign investors. 

Holland was managing Ambit Investment Advisors’ flagship hedge fund, Ambit Alpha Fund, which was sold off to financial services group Edelweiss. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal comes barely months after Ambit Alpha Fund crossed the milestone of Rs 1,000 crore (around $150 million) of assets under management (AUM). It now has an AUM of Rs 1,100 crore.

Prior to joining Ambit, Andrew was managing director – strategic investment group for Merrill Lynch in India for close to three years until December 2008, managing $1 billion total funds, according to this LinkedIn profile. He earlier held the positions of chief administrative officer and head of research at Merrill Lynch. 

Before that, he built DSP Merrill Lynch into a research broking house. He also worked with County Nat West, Barclays (BZW) and Credit Suisse. With expertise in institutional equity research, Andrew has experience across Asia and Europe.

Ambit Alpha Fund

Ambit Alpha Fund is the largest category III Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) in India. It was launched with an AUM of Rs 20 crore in June 2013 raised from Ambit Holdings and a few affluent individuals.

The fund invests in the Indian market using a long-short investment strategy which involves taking long positions in stocks that are expected to increase in value and short positions in stocks that are expected to decline in value.

Ambit Investment Advisors is a joint venture between Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt. Ltd and Japan’s Nikko Asset Management Co. Ltd, one of Asia’s leading asset managers with about $160 billion in AUM.

Ambit Investment also advises Mauritius-based Ambit Frontier Fund, an India-dedicated offshore long-short equity hedge fund.

Avendus

Avezo is an advisor to two families of funds that are investing businesses in India. Its growth funds invest in listed Indian mid-cap companies with a long term “buy and hold” strategy, according to its website. It bets on companies that benefits from India’s rising consumption, increasing urbanisation and the rapid adoption of digital technologies.

The team has built an impressive track record since 2009, making long-term investments spread over three funds which have handsomely outperformed all market indices. Moreover, it has built a deep understanding of the Indian mid-cap universe of approximately 500 companies, and has met with and evaluated around 50% of them.

In other appointments in the asset management sector, diversified financial services firm IDFC Ltd named Vishal Kapoor as CEO of IDFC Asset Management Company in July. In June, Avendus Wealth Management, appointed Swati Singh as an executive director and head of fixed income from IIFL Wealth Management. 

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Ambit’s Holland to join Avendus with team; KKR-controlled I-bank eyes hedge fund play

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