The move will see Agilis founder Clark Fenton, along with colleagues Charles Crowson and Praveen Kanakamedala, joining RWC to form the RWC Diversified Return team.
Prior to founding Agilis, Fenton served as co-CIO of Permal Group, a diversified fund of hedge funds. He started his career working in capital markets, primarily at Morgan Stanley.
Crowson joined Agilis from the hedge fund Mason Capital Management while Kanakamedela, who manages operations, risk and compliance for the firm, joined Fenton and Crowson from Permal where he was global head of risk management and chair of the risk committee.
Together the team have been responsible for the Protea Fund – Agilis Ucits, a multi-strategy portfolio which takes both long and short positions across fixed income, equity and commodity markets.
Dan Mannix, chief executive at RWC Partners, said: “Investors need strategies that diversify their risk away from core equity and fixed income assets. The drive for alternatives continues to grow and Clark and his team have designed an innovative investment approach which offers an uncorrelated solution with the benefits of low cost, frequent liquidity and simplicity.
“The strategy enhances the breadth of our capabilities and will help meet the increasing demand from investors for strategies that have a low correlation with their core equity and bond portfolios.”
RWC slowly builds its brand
Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said: “RWC have been good at getting teams to work well within the group’s framework and from the Agilis’ team perspective the whole team going across should give them a strong advantage and allow them to get going quickly as they all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to work with each other which means there is less of a distraction.
“RWC are not necessarily a well known group in the UK but they have slowly been building a strong reputation and brand. Adding specific resources like this means they can become experts in new areas without it impacting the existing business.”
Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said RWC are well known for adding teams. “I can only surmise that they think this is a good strategy and one where their sales and marketing function will help grow assets over time.”
In conjunction with the move, the current Agilis Luxembourg Ucits fund will become a sub-fund of RWC Funds, a Luxembourg-domiciled Ucits umbrella fund.
The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019.