Gottex Swings To Loss, But Boosts Pay For Top Execs.

Mar 24 2011 | 11:54am ET

The top executives at Gottex Fund Management had a little more coin in the pockets last year. The Swiss fund of hedge funds' shareholders will not be so lucky.

Gottex said it swung to a US$7 million pre-tax loss last year from a pre-tax profit of US$8 million in 2009. That means no dividend for shareholders this year.

But the US$8.3 billion firm did see fit to increase the pay to its three directors by 45%, with CEO Joachim Gottschalk, Richard Leibovitch and Maximilian Gottschalk splitting $6.8 million last year.

"It is important to maintain and motivate the team," a spokesman told Financial News.

The same spokesman said that "paying out a substantial part of profits via dividends remains the objective and policy of the firm for the future."

So why no profits in 2010? Gottex blamed the failure of all but one of its funds to return to its high-water mark last year, leaving it unable to charge performance fees on most of them. But the firm said its core products were outperforming their benchmarks this year.

Gottex also said it would seek to build up its Asian presence this year. Max Gottschalk will relocate to Hong Kong next month as the firm increases its efforts to grow in the region.

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