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iM Global Creates CIO Role in Asset Management Push

The firm, which buys stakes in asset managers, has hired a CIO to expand its own fund business.

iM Global Partner has hired Philippe Uzan from Switzerland’s Edmond de Rothschild to serve as a deputy chief executive officer and chief investment officer of asset management. 

Uzan will oversee iM Global’s own funds, with responsibility for selecting and monitoring investment strategies, according to the firm’s founder and CEO Philippe Couvrecelle. He told Institutional Investor that Uzan, previously CIO of Edmond de Rothschild’s asset management unit, began his new role this month. 

iM Global, which buys minority stakes in asset managers, created the position to expand its own offering of funds, Couvrecelle said by phone. It’s a new area of business for the firm, jump-started this year with an agreement with SYZ Group to develop its €2 billion ($2.18 billion) family of Oyster funds.

Couvrecelle said he expects to acquire a U.S. family of funds this year, with Uzan being a vital part of the selection process. Uzan’s role is separate from iM Global’s existing CIO position, which is tied to the firm’s business of investing in asset managers, Couvrecelle said. The CEO explained the distinction was created to avoid conflicts of interest.

Uzan has worked in asset management for more than two decades. Before joining Edmond de Rothschild in 2007, he worked for Natixis Asset Management, now named Ostrum Asset Management, and AGF, now called Allianz. He began his career in finance as an equity derivatives trader at Société Générale.

Over the next three years iM Global expects to invest $285 million buying minority stakes in asset managers as well as its own fund families, according to Couvrecelle. A majority of the spending will go toward investing in fund managers globally, he said.

Founded in 2013, Paris-based iM Global has invested in six asset managers in the U.S. and Europe, with its stakes and Oyster funds representing a total $14.7 billion of assets, according to the firm’s CEO. 

Most of the stakes are in U.S. firms, including Polen Capital, Dolan McEniry Capital Management, Sirios Capital Management, Scharf Investments, and Dynamic Beta Investments. The sole European firm in which iM Global has invested is Zadig Asset Management.

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