By Claire Makin
Giant fund of funds manager Permal Group has barely paused
for breath this year. So far, the $20 billion company has
launched five new funds, developed a state-of-the-art risk
system, and made several high profile hires.
A common theme runs through these developments. It is the need
to offer increasingly specialised services to clients. "The
fund of funds industry is no longer monolithic. It is very much
custom-tailored," says Isaac Souede, Permal's New York-based
chairman and chief executive, who has been a driving force
behind the company for 23 years.
Four of the five new Permal funds have innovative structures
or strategies. The most radical concept is the JP Morgan Permal
AIS Fund, a daily liquidity product where Permal allocates
among 25 synthetic trading indices developed by JP Morgan. The
aim is to capture the return generation of hedge fund
strategies such as momentum and...