GAM hires for Australia institutional business, as positive ILS flows continue

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GAM Holdings, the independent asset management group, said this morning that it continues to see positive flows into its ILS funds from Australia, which is one driver for hiring a new director for institutional business in the country.

gam-investments-logoGAM has hired Alison Wallis as Director, Institutional Business in Australia. Wallis is based in Sydney and will report directly to Alex Zaika, Managing Director for Australia.

The role will see Wallis take on responsibility for business development and servicing the institutional investor market in Australia, helping to enhance GAM’s local support and deepen its relationships with Australian clients.

In particular, GAM cites growing interest from Australian superannuation funds in its product offering.

GAM has seen particular success with alternative investments in the Australian institutional market, citing its GAM Systematic alternative risk premia and insurance-linked securities (ILS) offerings as strategies that continue to see positive net flows from investors.

GAM operates a number of insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bond funds, which feature specialist catastrophe bond and reinsurance linked investment manager Fermat Capital Management as their investment manager.

A handful of Australian superannuation and pension funds have been investing in reinsurance linked strategies including catastrophe bonds for more than a decade, but the market remains relatively untapped still, especially the smaller institutional investors.

As a result, Australia is a location where further growth for the GAM ILS strategies is likely a target at this time, especially given the huge asset pools a number of the superannuations command.

Wallis joins GAM from her most recent role at investment advisory specialists Brookvine, who had already been working with Fermat Capital Management and assisted the ILS manager when it raised capital for its Fermat ILS Yield Fund from institutional and high net worth investors in Australia.

Brookvine previously raised $680 million for Fermat ILS strategies and Wallis spent six years at the firm as a Director servicing institutional investor clients.

Prior to that, Wallis worked as a client manager at Deutsche Bank and began her career at Morningstar.

Alex Zaika, Managing Director for Australia at GAM, commented on the hire, “Alison has an excellent reputation in the Australian market and brings a wealth of knowledge across asset classes. She will be a valuable addition to our team as we continue to expand our local offering for Australian clients and provide them with differentiated investment solutions.”

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