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VIA AM1, selected by Emergence2 for its 16th investment

Monday, September 18, 2017
Opalesque Industry Update - Emergence, the incubator and accelerator for entrepreneurial managers in the Paris market, and NewAlpha Asset Management, the SICAV's delegated manager, have announced the selection of VIA AM(1) as the first investment by Emergence's new European equities fund, launched in June 2017 with a target of €300 million, now closed to subscriptions.

Emergence will put €50 million into the fund VIA Smart Equity Europe the biggest investment made by Emergence since its inception in 2012. The VIA Smart Equity fund was launched in March 2016 and targets long-term outperformance of the MSCI Europe, net dividends reinvested, with a similar risk profile.

This injection will take the VIA Smart Equity Europe fund above €150 million of AUM, giving it critical mass to build up its base with international investors, and will add the caché of the Emergence label awarded by the SICAV's Investment Committee composed of France's leading institutional investors.

VIA AM has developed systematic equity and absolute return strategies based on proprietary technology that systematically analyses the economic and accounting data of 3,000 listed companies across the world (including 600 in Europe). The approach yields an exceptionally objective financial analysis and facilitates inter-company comparisons.

This "economic accounting" gives a better analysis of companies' profitability and value before any selection across a very wide universe. Accounting standardisation means VIA AM can limit risks of errors of judgement and free itself from reliance on traditional accounting ratios.

Less than 18 months after its creation, the company now has a range of 4 funds (European, US and global equity and multi-strategy absolute return) with a total of more than €450 million under management.

Thanks to its founders' track record and distribution through Eric Sturdza Group, VIA has attracted interest from investors mainly based in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg who have contributed to the firm's rapid growth.

VIA AM was set up in 2015 in France with the support of Eric Sturdza Group and by its founders Guillaume Dolisi, Laurent Pla and Mauricio Zanini. Guillaume and Laurent have together successfully developed a number of systematic investment strategies at BNP Paribas CIB, having worked respectively as head of Long/Short Equity trading and head of quantitative research at Société Générale Securities. The third partner, Mauricio Zanini set up his own research house after 10 years' experience with Deutsche Bank in accounting restatement.

Like their previous investments with young French investment management firms, the partnership between Emergence, NewAlpha and VIA AM offers investors in the Emergence SICAV a combination of performance by a selected fund and a stake in its expansion through a revenue-sharing mechanism.

VIA AM is the 16th company to be incubated or accelerated by Emergence through its three sub-funds dedicated to equity and absolute return. Since 2012, Emergence has raised and invested €670 million. The selected managers, who are now Emergence partners, have seen AUM grow by 2.4 times following the SICAV's investment. They currently manage around €5.2 billion, 55% of which comes from international investors.

The Emergence initiative helps bolster the reputation of French entrepreneurial managers and boosts the attractiveness of the Paris market as a competitive location for the European asset management industry.

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