News round-up: Governance trio rebrands as Waystone; AXS Investments snaps up market neutral fund; Willis Towers Watson Director moves to bfinance

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Governance trio rebrands as Waystone

The DMS Group, MontLake and MDO have merged to form governance powerhouse Waystone.

The three firms announced they would combine forces in summer 2020, and today unveiled their new collective moniker.

Waystone said it would now be ‘at the forefront’ of governance, risk and compliance services for the asset management industry. 

Global CEO of Waystone, Derek Delaney commented: "This is a hugely significant moment for us as we move forward together as Waystone, bringing our offering to the next level to become an institutional and defining market leader. 

“As our industry continues to evolve rapidly, Waystone delivers a dimension of certainty for its clients while considering the needs of investors. The new brand is astute and flexible, reflecting our ability to keep pace with an ever changing and complex landscape."

Waystone operates from eight global jurisdictions, including five European offices, with over 320 employees, and said it was well-positioned for growth, both organically and by way of acquisition.  

You can read more about Waystone here.


AXS Investments snaps up market neutral fund

New York-based fund manager AXS Investments as acquired the AXS Market Neutral Fund (COGIX) to its suite of alternative investment funds.

Over its nine years in existence, the AXS Market Neutral Fund has received numerous industry awards including the Best '40 Act Equity Fund at the 2018 HFM U.S. Hedge Fund Performance Awards.

"Our acquisition of the AXS Market Neutral Fund (COGIX) is exceedingly exciting and timely, particularly today as we're seeing investors and financial advisors looking to replace portions of their fixed income, and even cash, allocations with market neutral solutions to improve returns, while tempering equity market volatility," said Greg Bassuk, Chairman and CEO of AXS Investments.

"The fund is a great complement to our lineup of alternative investments to help investors diversify and enhance their portfolios."

Asset flows to market neutral strategies have been positive both over the longer 3-year period and year-to-date in 2021.


Willis Towers Watson Director moves to bfinance

Investment consultant bfinance has recruited a new Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Solutions to its team.

Duncan Higgs joins from Willis Towers Watson, where he served as Director, to oversee the development and delivery of services for bfinance’s institutional investor clients around the globe.

At Willis Towers Watson, Higgs was part of the core team driving technology change in the investment business. He has more than 15 years of experience in investment consulting, including five years as a client manager at Cardano delivering tailored investment solutions to institutional clients.

Bfinance’s former Head of Portfolio Solutions, Malcolm Hunt, stays with the firm as Head of Client Consulting – a new role in which he oversees senior client consultants in all international locations, improving global co-ordination and harmonisation of service provision as the firm continues to expand.

“We’re delighted to welcome Duncan to head up the Portfolio Solutions team, marking the next stage in a period of strong growth and development,” said David Vafai, Chief Executive Officer at bfinance. “Under his leadership this division will continue working with clients to address a wide variety of challenges, ranging from designing more robust portfolios and delivering sharper portfolio monitoring to identifying potential cost savings and efficiencies. In addition, we will continue to support future innovations that tackle clients’ evolving requirements.”

Stephanie Taylor

Head of Event Content, HFM

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