Carmignac targets Switzerland and UK for 2013

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PARIS: Carmignac Gestion co-founder and managing director Eric Helderlé said the firm would make overseas growth a priority in 2013 with the UK, Switzerland and British Commonwealth countries all key to its expansion plans.

Speaking at Carmignac’s quarterly review in Paris, Helderlé said growing the group’s assets outside of France will be driving force in its strategy for the coming year, with the opening of a new Zurich office key to its expansion plans in Switzerland and core Europe.

But Helderlé admitted that its entry into the UK market last year had initially been slower than anticipated.

‘Our UK growth is lagging behind a bit and maybe we underestimated the disruption caused by the shift to RDR,' admitted Helderlé. ‘But now we are making good progress in the UK market in terms of getting our funds onto platforms.’

Carmignac launched Retail Distribution Review (RDR) ready sterling denominated share classes last June in anticipation of the implementation of the RDR coming into effect from 1 January this year. 

He added that the UK market was significant to Carmignac, not only in its own right, but as a gateway to what he called the Commonwealth countries.

Another key change this year will be the conversion of the Luxembourg office into what he called ‘a fully fledged management company in its own right’ meaning the group will be able to sell its French range of mutual funds inside and outside of France.

Assets are up

Helderlé also revealed that the firm had enjoyed net inflows of €4.5 billion over the course of 2012 taking total assets under management to €54 billion.

The inflows took the Paris-based boutique back to its previous high water mark achieved prior to the global financial crisis, with around €1.5 billion alone going into the Carmignac Emerging Patrimoine fund, headed up by Simon Pickard.

A further €800 million ended up in the bond fund Carmignac Securité, which welcomed a new co-manager this week, while Helderlé said the multi-asset Carmignac Capital Plus fund, which targets a 2% return above cash, had also seen significant inflows.

The group added a total of 13 analysts and upgrading its back office systems last year to scale up for its expansion plans, while both sterling and Swiss Franc share classes were also added to its 15 strong range of funds.