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...