Last updated: 13:07 / Monday, 21 April 2014
Ernesto Leme, Claritas WM

Brazilian Investors Beginning to Whet their Appetites for Diversifying Abroad

Brazilian Investors Beginning to Whet their Appetites for Diversifying Abroad

This year marks Claritas’ fifteenth anniversary in Brazil. What started as a hedge fund firm, evolved into one of Brazil’s pioneer independent management companies, as well as becoming one of the pioneers of the country’s alternative industry; a path which the company has consolidated into a multi strategy approach offering multi-asset products, long/short and equity funds. In 2001, two years after its founding, the firm launched its equity strategy to then leap into the fund of funds industry in 2004, and then in 2007 as asset managers in private equity. It was in 2008 when the company embarked onto the development of the wealth management business, and in 2012 joined Principal, as was explained to Fund Society by Ernesto Leme, the partner responsible for Claritas Investments’ Wealth Management division.

As regards Claritas Wealth Management, Leme explained that the company mainly targets the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) Brazilian clients. In order to protect and grow these clients’ wealth, the best approach is to offer diversification, remembering that “we are not here to make them rich. Our job is to keep them rich for generations, but not make them rich,” he added.

International diversification is not a strong trend in Brazilian investors, as safeguarded as they are by the country’s extremely high interest rates and its stability derived from a consistent growth in recent years, they have not leaped into exterior markets. However, Leme has found that in the last 12 months an appetite for international diversification has developed, and it is aimed primarily at the U.S. and Europe. “Diversification is no longer exclusively targeted towards emerging markets, although there is still interest in some countries within the region such as Chile, Peru and Mexico, it is no longer concentrated only in those markets," he added.

As for the asset class trend among Claritas clients, Leme said that the investor currently tends more toward equities, followed by fixed income, where there is also substantial interest.

The executive explained that, in response to the Brazilian investor’s growing appetite for international diversification, the firm has recently launched three strategies: a global equities fund, with  60% positioning in the United States, and which is also its first global shares’ fund, a high yield American fund, and a preferred securities fund, which invests in large international companies such as banks, insurance and reinsurance companies, telecommunications, energy and transportation, among others. The team of this last fund is in the United States and consists of 14 people. These new products are made in Brazil, but they have all been allowed to invest abroad. The three funds are: Claritas Global Equity, Claritas Preferred Securities and Claritas Global High Yield.

Finally, when asked about his participation in the upcoming Private Wealth Brazil Forum, to be held in Brazil next May 13 th, Leme, who will participate in the panel discussion on current trends and expected returns in the hedge fund space, said his commitment to hedge funds was placed in the macro space because the achievements are measured independently of traditional markets.

Private Wealth Brazil Forum, organized by Latin Markets, is a meeting point for private bankers, UHNWI, asset managers, family businesses and family offices. The forum brings together more than 300 professionals and industry leaders of Brazilian wealth management for a day of lectures, in which strategies to protect, preserve and grow wealth are addressed.