Pictet To Sell Hedge Funds To Middle Eastern Clients

Mar 7 2013 | 12:20am ET

Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie. is looking to the Middle East to raise money for its hedge funds, offering the European Union as a major investment opportunity.

Pictet plans to target Middle Eastern clients as it aims to build its US$2.5 billion hedge fund business. The firm has been adding asset management staff in the region and plans to hire more staff in its Geneva headquarters to serve clients from the Middle East, Bloomberg News reports. It plans to seek regulatory approval in the region to facilitate the marketing push.

"Our clientele mostly in this space has been in Europe, a little bit in North America, and it's something that we want to make our clients aware of here as well," Philippe De Weck, head of total return equities at Pictet Asset Management, told Bloomberg from Dubai. "It's the impression that I get in the region that when I talk to people, they think that hedge funds are risky, but the word 'hedge' means to protect."

"We're looking to be part of people's alternative allocations," he added.

Pictet is selling European opportunities, De Weck said, as the possibility of a breakup of the eurozone wanes.

"We probably see more value in Europe than in most regions of the world in quality world-class companies that have global demand for their products," he said. "The world is not falling off a cliff, and some parts are doing quite well."

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