Nicolas Moussavi, Head of Mutual Fund Selection, Lyxor Asset Management

Nicolas Moussavi is our Fund Selector of the Month. He is head of Mutual Fund Selection at Lyxor Asset Management.
Liliana Varona
Content Manager in RankiaPro
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Nicolas Moussavi has more than 15 years’ experience in the financial industry. Since September 2009, Nicolas has been working as portfolio manager of mandates and dedicated funds advised by external investment advisors, on all asset classes in the Multi-management Team. In 2014, Nicolas has been appointed Head of Fund research (Mutual funds and Alt Ucits) at Lyxor Asset Management, where he is responsible for fund selection for various entities of SG Group.

Before, he worked for SGAM Alternative Investments in the Structured Asset Management Department where he was in charge of selecting and analyzing underlying funds for structured products. Prior to join SGAM AI, Nicolas was assistant portfolio manager at Montpensier Finance. Prior to that, he began his career at Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking as an assistant of the Long/Short Equity Desk in the Hedge Funds Relations & Risk Analysis Team at Lyxor Asset Management. Nicolas holds a Master’s degree in Econometrics & Mathematics from Aix-Marseille School of Economics. Nicolas holds also an Advanced Master in Financial Techniques from ESSEC Business School & is a CAIA charterholder.

Interior header interviews

Within the fund selection process, which task is the most time-consuming?

The memo, undoubtedly. Convert and transcript our thoughts and impression we have had during the meeting with the portfolio manager for our clients is crucial and not so easy.

What aspects do you consider most important when selecting a fund for a portfolio?

Transparency on the process of course in order to understand how the portfolio manager built his track record over years. if A criteria whose importance has consistently grown in our fund selection process remains client servicing. We need asset managers to go back to us quickly when we have requests. Waiting more than 2 or 3 days for an answer is not adequate anymore.

Which assets/asset class do you think will perform best in 2020, even during the current crisis situation?  

It’s difficult to answer this question usually and probably more this year, given that managers are scrutinizing and stress-testing the potential impact of current economic massive slowdown on companies’ earnings and the length of this impact which is unknown as of today.

Alternative products should succeed at this game for the more nimble ones. Indeed, the dichotomy between style and sectors could make some long-short equity managers happy, being long defensive quality growth stocks and short value ones for example.

What do you think leads to success in the business industry? Can you give some unique advice for people starting a career in asset management?

Be nimble. Humility, having good ideas, and a little bit of luck for sure. Managing fairly your people is also key. Be surrounded by people you trust.

What is the greatest challenge as a fund selector?

Our job is changing. Looking for risk-adjusted performing products is not enough. A more guided open architecture is now required. This is a way to obtain a good client servicing and good negotiation in terms of fees we pay for.

I do not know if it is the greatest but the biggest for sure !

What kind of adjustments did you make in the portfolios that you manage, in terms of hedging or risk management? How does the adequate asset allocation look right now?

We can observe that diversification remains the motto for our portfolio managers. Alternatives as I was mentioning earlier remain something important in their allocation. Gold remains a good diversifier as well in these tough times.

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Nicolas Moussavi, Head of Mutual Fund Selection, Lyxor Asset Management