Trésorier/Treasurer magazine - N°91 - Oct/Nov/Dec 2015 - (Page 60)

15 MINUTES WITH... CIAM LE MAGAZINE DU TRESORIER / TREASURER MAGAZINE - N°91 - OCT / NOV / DEC 2015 - Emmanuel, you are Corporate Secretary and COO. Can you introduce the company and its fund management activity in a few words? 60 CIAM is an AIFM registered with the AMF, and managing a Luxembourg AIF, CIMA Opportunities Fund. The Fund is investing in event-driven, M&A and special situations with a catalyst, on corporates listed in Europe and North-America. Founded and managed by Catherine Berjal and Anne-Sophie d'Andlau, both having long track records in event driven and M&A investments, the company has now reached a milestone with over 2 years of solid track-record and a full AIFM setup. With a long experience in investing in event driven and M&A equity strategies, the investment team is focusing on corporate research and on identifying the most relevant investments with a corporate event catalyst, or embedded value to be released by corporate activism. The investment process relies heavily on proprietary equity models and market screenings, and some of the core positions rely on activism from the investment team and its legal advisors. Those angles have differentiated our investment process and the performances of the fund especially during the periods of volatile markets, and were key in getting the fund nominated in its category both at the Euro-Hedge Awards and at the HFM Week Awards. - How do you see markets at the moment? The year so far has been extremely challenging and shaky on equity markets, and is set to remain volatile going forward. As we saw over the last months, the central banks, whilst supporting equity markets by extending their injections of cash and their periods of zero interest rates, have decided to temper the excessive enthusiasm of the markets. European markets weathered well the noise created by the Greek crisis, and as was expected, went out of it by retesting in August their highs of the year. During all this period, equity investments with a low correlation to the indices proved profitable and resilient. Now that the Federal Reserve has extended its scope to the global economy and has introduced into the equation global trade volumes and the specific issues of China and emerging countries, we can expect an even more uncertain path going forward. After one of the strongest rally ever for the first four months of the year, followed by a period of consolidation amidst market drops, volatile markets are ahead of us. At the same time, with interest rates set to remain close to zero for the foreseeable future, the conditions and incentive are there for corporate activity and M&A, from large consolidation deals down to small acquisitions and capital structure optimization. This reinforces the necessity of diversification of cash and treasury investments, from fixed income markets hampered by a conjunction of extra low returns and volatility risks, into equity strategies, and particularly those into decorrelated strategies like specific corporate events, M&A, or offering catalysts for revaluation. - So you think M&A offers opportunities for fund managers & investors for the foreseeable future? Definitely, and 2015 looks ripe to set a new record in terms of corporate activity. Global M&A for the first 8 months of the year is over US$ 2.8 trillion, including US$ 1.5 trillion for North America and close to US$ 600 billion for Europe. This is equivalent to about US$ 4 trillion on an annualized basis, the highest since 2007! CIAM Emmanuel Drujon Company Secretary and COO Mr. Drujon has 25 years of experience with investment banks and fund managers, in developing and managing investment activities. His career includes senior roles with Merrill Lynch, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and Lehman Brothers, and with fund managers Systeia Capital Management, Argent Financial Group, and Signature Asset Management. Mr. Drujon graduated from Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées and from the Sorbonne University Law School. This results also from the combination of high cash reserves from companies worldwide - above 4 trillion US dollars - and of free cashflow yield above their 10 year corporate bond yields, for close to two thirds of the US companies and three quarters of the European ones. Combined with a high Private Equity firepower, this global trend is there to last. And the weakening of the Euro vs the US Dollar and the other main currencies has made European corporates and their equities more attractive for investors as well as for foreign bidders. The investment opportunities for the next couple of years in that field will be many and diverse, from large consolidation deals between global industry leaders, to restructuring and growth situations, and including the sale of medium-sized businesses and family holdings. We focus on corporate research, and we select the investments in the Fund on expectations of corporate activity, special situations, mergers and acquisitions, and on identified triggers of revaluation. In such volatile markets driven by index tracking and program trading, we avoid correlation with liquidity-driven trends and sectorial rotation, and generate alpha with low volatility and a high percentage of positive monthly returns. CIAM - In this context, what are your main current developments? Following two years of consistent track-record and positive returns, we have registered the asset-management company and the fund in conformity with the AIFM Directive, and have raised additional assets into the fund. We will keep investing in situations offering a significant upside thanks to the materialization of a corporate event or an M&A situation. And we will keep acting around those situations, working actively to unlock a higher value from our investments (as we previously did on Club Med for example). We also plan to launch a UCITS version of the current investment program, with a slightly more diversified portfolio than in the existing SIF fund.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Trésorier/Treasurer magazine - N°91 - Oct/Nov/Dec 2015

Table of contents
INTERVIEW Ben Poole Editorial Services
To What Extent Should Treasurers’ Activities be further centralized?
Capital Markets Union (CMU)
Upsurge in fraud
CEO impersonation
Using analytics to cope with uncertainty and volatility for treasury
IFRS 9 : Nécessite d’une reorganisation bancaire majeure
Taux zéro : de nouvelles stratégies pour un nouveau monde
Investing surplus cash in repos
Warranty & indemnity insurance
Making the switch from Excel to a Treasury System
Corporate treasury in the digital age
Fini le casse-tête des paiements internationaux pour les entreprises !
Bank Independent Cash Pooling
Gérer l’offre de retraites : un choix complexe pour l’entreprise

Trésorier/Treasurer magazine - N°91 - Oct/Nov/Dec 2015