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June 08, 2016  

Aquila Recruits US Funds for UCITS Series

Aquila Capital, a Europe-focused alternative-investment manager, is scouting U.S. hedge fund operators to add to its UCITS program.

The Hamburg firm currently runs €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in UCITS vehicles, including an internally managed risk-parity product. But it now wants to begin offering institutional clients in Europe a range of U.S. hedge fund strategies to choose from — with a focus on mid-size equity operations with minimal net exposure.

To that end, it has been meeting with managers in the States in the past month or so, including at the “SALT Las Vegas” conference in early May. Manfred Schraepler, who is overseeing the project, has developed a short list of U.S. fund shops and plans to begin marketing one or two of them via a UCITS series before the end of the year. From there, Schraepler expects to add one or two more each year.

The plan is to co-brand each UCITS using both the Aquila label and the name of the U.S. firm. Aquila will take a cut of the managers’ fee revenues.

Aquila is among a growing number of banks, asset managers and fund marketers offering to help U.S. hedge fund shops develop UCITS offerings for European investors. A UCITS fund — the acronym stands for Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferrable Securities — is a tightly regulated European investment vehicle that offers more liquidity, transparency and risk controls than most private funds.

Overall, Aquila and its affiliates manage more than €7 billion in a variety of alternative strategies including private equity, infrastructure and quantitative hedge funds. Among Aquila’s institutional clients is Dutch pension giant APG.

Schraepler arrived in March from Bank of America, where he headed UCITS-fund sales to investors in Nordic and German-speaking countries. He previously ran a UCITS unit at Deutsche Bank.