A team of ex-Barclays Global Investors executives, led by Morry Waked (pictured), has advanced plans to launch what looks like becoming the hottest quant-orientated boutique Australia has seen.
Waked, the former joint CIO of BGI based in Sydney, and his team have leased premises in Bridge Street in the CBD and will open the new firm’s doors next month.
They will now be joined by Katherine Allchin, the former head of distribution at BGI, who left the firm last year after being offered the job to head up BGI’s iShares ETF business, after the firm was taken over by BlackRock in the world’s largest ever funds management M&A deal.
As previously reported, the Waked boutique, which is expected to be seeded with at least two big mandates from former BGI clients, is likely to include Nick Burt and Duncan Forrest.
Burt was the portfolio manager responsible for BGI’s long/short equity funds while Forrest is a former BGI technology executive.
Interestingly, it is understood that another former CIO at BGI, Bruce Goddard, is to become an investor in the new boutique.
Allchin is expected to adopt the main business development role for the business.
Quant-style boutiques are rare because of the systems required in their establishment and commitment to intellectual capital. The last one launched in Australia was Ascalon-backed Continuum Capital Management, developed by a team including former GMO head of Australian equities, Max Cappetta. Before that there was the fixed-interest boutique Omega two years ago, which fell out of Vanguard, and before that the Plato equities firm, run by former SSgA manager Don Hamson, about four years ago.