Former PineBridge fund manager Santiago Arias has joined HMC Capital in Chile with the view of launching new regional equity products in the near future.
Santiago-based Arias left PineBridge in December 2015 following a shake-up in the emerging markets team. He was formerly manager of the Pinebridge Global Funds Latin America Small and Mid Cap Equity fund, which is now being managed by Andrew Jones.
At HMC Capital Asset Management, which specializes in alternative investments, Arias will continue to focus on small-to medium-sized Latin American companies and is working with the firm to launch a new fund by mid-2016.
Speaking to Citywire Americas he said: ‘There are a lot of smaller companies in particular that due to the current investment cycle are having a hard time accessing the public market in a traditional way, but there are still a lot of good companies doing really well.’
He is currently looking to build a fund that will give investors access to these companies. It will initially be available to the Latin American market before they launch a Ucits version, he said.
‘HMC has been very successful with fund distribution, particularly due to its expertise in alternative investments,’ said Arias.
Another reason Arias decided to join HMC Capital is down to its commitment to Latin America.
‘Global firms are still extremely scared of Latin America and they always kind of miss the right timing,’ he said. ‘Trying to launch LatAm products with a global firm is not going to happen right now.’
HMC Capital, which is an asset management and advisory firm with offices in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, has previously launched funds to boost capital markets in Latin America. In 2015, the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank, brought attention to its efforts by investing $15 million in HMC Capital’s High Yield Peru Fund to aid companies that have traditionally relied on banks for loans.
‘HMC Capital is going after a more long-term, sustainable investment approach which for the region is very important and that is key for me,’ said Arias.
Fellow Latin American investor Rafael Mendoza also left PineBridge in late 2015 to join Chilean investment firm Compass Group, which is mandated to run the Investec GSF Latin American Equity fund.