Polar Capital Japan manager heads to Paris office

Gerard Cawley is the only fund manager based in the European outpost


Polar Capital Japanese equities manager Gerard Cawley will be relocating to the firm’s newly opened Paris office, Portfolio Adviser has learned.

Cawley’s switch to the fund group’s first office on the continent follows his family’s decision to move to Spain.

A Companies House filing on 9 November revealed he was no longer a member of the London-based LLP.

Polar Capital announced towards the end of June it would be opening a Paris office amid ongoing Brexit uncertainties. It secured a license to operate in the French capital a month later.

Cawley is the only fund manager to transfer to the Paris location so far. Portfolio Adviser understands there are no immediate plans to move other managers.

Paris team

Portfolio Adviser also understands four other Polar employees will be based in the Paris office post-Brexit, including the group’s chief risk officer Waseem Ghulam. Ghulam is French and lives in Paris. He had previously been commuting to the boutique’s London headquarters.

Two French-speaking sales people are also reportedly based at the new European outpost. Another member of the risk team is also understood to be relocating to Paris later this year.

The Paris office forms part of Polar’s expansion into Europe as it seeks to diversify its product range and geographical client base under CEO Gavin Rochussen.

The asset manager recruited Blackrock’s ex-Nordic head Peter Leane to lead a team focused on enhancing its profile in the region this summer. It also poached Jorry Rask Nøddekær and a trio of managers from Nordea Asset Management to launch its debut emerging markets fund.

In an interview with Reuters, Rochussen said the company was looking to hire a continental European equities team which could be based out of the Paris office, adding he was “very geo-agnostic” when it came to where managers were based.

Japan fund

Cawley has been the lead manager on Polar’s Japan Value fund since it launched in October 2012.

The fund currently sits at ¥2.8bn (£18.7m) and is first quartile on a six-month, one year and three year-view during what has been a difficult time for Japanese equities. Over five years it has underperformed the IA Japan sector average by 1.2%.

6m 1yr 3yr 5yr
Polar Japan Value -5.7% -2.5% 44.7% 55.3%
IA Japan -8.7% -5.9% 38.5% 56.5%
Source: Trustnet

Polar’s Japanese equity funds were previously the source of a major headache due to their high levels of redemptions, which resulted in three consecutive years of net outflows for the overall group.

But recently this trend has reversed. Polar Japan was the fifth most popular strategy in the six months to December 2017, bringing in £1bn of client money.


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