Hedge Fund Awards 2016

Hedge Fund Awards 2016 9 As part of an exclusive series of interviews with this innovative and exciting asset management firm, we speak to Steeve Brument, Head of systematic funds at Candriam. Candriam was one of the first firms in France and possibly in Europe to offer CTA strategies, which we first started in 1997, and CTA is now the main products offered within our systematic strategy. This strategy can be difficult for some investors to truly understand and therefore has often been viewed with suspicion. However, it grew in popularity following the 2008 global recession when the diversification benefits of CTAs became apparent with many funds posting strong gains in what was a very difficult year for most traditional asset classes. This trend was further supported by the strong continued performance of CTAs throughout the recession, highlighting the ability of systematic strategies to perform well in even in a poor investment market. In the 15 years I have worked for Candriam we have never stopped innovating and were one of the first to diversify from traditional ‘trend following’ by mixing this approach with pattern recognition and ‘counter trend’ models as well as being among the first to offer a CTA in UCITS wrapper. We have continued to stay ahead of the industry even as CTA products became more popular and at the end of 2014 we launched an innovative long-short equity global diversified strategy to take advantage of our strong expertise in exploiting market inefficiencies. Our approach toward innovation has allowed us to be more resilient than most of the CTA industry. Indeed in the aftermath of the financial crisis, many CTAs suffered from the very low market volatility, whereas our di- versification both in term in strategies and risk allocation was key in delivering positive return in these difficult years such as 2009, 2011 and even 2015. In this very competitive market, being well established within the industry and being part of solid group with a AAA shareholder such New York Life is definitively an advantage. For the firm specifically, there are a number of exciting changes on the horizon, particularly involving our growing investor base, particularly across the US market. CTA’s strong performance over recent years has shown its potential and therefore many more US pension funds and investment institutions are looking towards this market, providing us with potential growth. The key for us will always be to provide our investors with uncorrelated return ultimately giving them a more attractive and resilient return over the long term. Our strategy needs a certain level of volatility to shine and we believe that the current market environment offers just those conditions. Company: Candriam Investors Group Web: www.candriam.com

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