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Towers Watson boosts global hedge fund capabilities

Monday, October 26, 2015
Opalesque Industry Update - Towers Watson has hired Aongus O’Gorman, Abbas Alighanbari and Victoria Vodolazschi - all from asset management firms - to bolster its global hedge fund research and advisory capabilities. Aongus O’Gorman joined in Sydney and will cover a range of hedge fund and other diversifying strategies; Victoria Vodolazschi joined in New York City and will focus on long/ short equity, macro and systematic strategies; and Abbas Alighanbari joined in London and will be involved in a range of hedge fund strategies, initially focusing on long/ short equity.

Towers Watson now has one of the industry’s largest global teams dedicated to manager research and is made up of over 130 full-time and part-time associates who provide a range of fund analysis, manager research, selection and monitoring services globally for sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies and private wealth managers.

Luba Nikulina, global head of manager research at Towers Watson, said: “Aongus, Victoria and Abbas are very welcome additions to our team at a time when these investments are very popular among institutional investors seeking to diversify, notably into liquid alternatives. Our approach when building portfolios that provide true diversity from the equity and credit risk premia is to focus on the underlying drivers of return, rather than looking at alternative ‘asset classes’. Our new colleagues have significant prior experience and will help us expand our capabilities in finding alpha and getting access to the skill premium across a broad range of strategies.”

Aongus was previously Managing Director of Round Tower Solutions, a boutique consultancy focused on investment governance, process improvement, and product management. Prior to that he was director of implemented solutions for institutional fund manager QIC, responsible for managing its external manager alpha program. He spent the early part of his career as a hedge fund manager and has a Masters in Business Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), both from University College Dublin.

Victoria Vodolazschi joins from PivotalPath, where she was a consulting strategy specialist evaluating hedge fund managers and helped build the firm’s investment and operational due diligence process. Prior to this she was a director of hedge fund investments and co-portfolio manager for Northern Trust Global Advisors, managing $1.8 billion in two diversified fund of funds. Victoria has an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York, and is a CFA Charterholder.

Abbas Alighanbari joins from International Asset Management where he researched and conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis on a broad range of hedge fund strategies and assisted in managing bespoke client portfolios totalling $4.1 billion. He has an MSc in Finance from Cass Business School in London.

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