Swiss fund of hedge funds firm EIM is looking to grow—in two ways.
The firm is hiring, founder Arpad Busson told Financial News. But it is also actively seeking acquisition targets.
"I would like to become one of the consolidators," Busson said. "The barriers to entry have risen so dramatically that the assets under management needed to survive or thrive have gone up. We are currently looking at several acquisitions."
Two, in fact. Busson said EIM plans to merge one of them into its business while running the other as a separate entity.
"Every single firm we are looking at has human capital," he explained. "There are some ideas that you wouldn't get just by hiring the individual."
But EIM is doing that as well. The firm's headcount has fallen by almost 100 from its peak of 240, but the firm has made several key hires this year and is still looking to add new talent.
Busson is also ready to loosen his grip over EIM, a privately-held firm, somewhat, offering partnerships and equity stakes to key employees. The prospect of a future stake in the firm could also help EIM lure desired hires.