In late July Azimut Holding SpA, an Italian independent asset manager, acquired a 50% stake in Swiss based Katarsis Capital Advisors SA, a financial advisor focused on the insurance-linked securities market. Katarsis Capital works in both the catastrophe investment arena and life linked securities and own a Luxembourg based fund manager Eskatos Capital Management.
The acquisition gives Azimut a way into the insurance-linked securities market through the two fund units managed by Eskatos Capital Management. Eskatos Capital Management claim to be the only insurance-linked securities investment manager domiciled in the EU, with around €90m under management in their Eskatos Multistrategy ILS Fund and Eskatos Property & Casualty Fund.
Azimut paid around €7.5m for the 50% stake in Katarsis Capital in cash and Azimut Holding treasury shares, which is around 10x the earnings of the acquired company. The management of Katarsis Capital and Eskatos Capital Management, Otello Padovani and Alberto Minali both of whom have years of experience in the sector, remain involved.
Otello Padovani, Chairman of Katarsis Capital Advisors said; “The common features of these products are in particular the true decorrelation from financial markets, since the underlying assets give exposure to risks linked to natural events, which as such are not affected by personal behavior and psychology, sometimes undermining traditional asset classes”.
Alberto Minali, Chairman of Eskatos Capital Management added; “This partnership with an important European player of asset management such as Azimut and the opportunity of future new inflows into existing strategies can allow us to increase the investment targets as well as to attract new investors, including institutional clients”.
Pietro Giuliani, Azimut’s Chairman and CEO commented; “Through this agreement Azimut can take advantage of the specialised skills of Katarsis also for the launch of new products with unique features on the market. We continue to reinforce Azimut Group as a true multi boutique company, able to attract talented people in asset management and distribution, in Italy as abroad”.
As an EU based fund manager Eskatos could be attractive to many investors and this tie up with Azimut should open new avenues to investors which will help them grow their capital under management at a time when ILS as an asset class is in demand and gives Azimut access to new asset classes. The deal completed on the 25th July.