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Industry veterans launch LatAm and US offshore distribution firm

Industry veterans launch LatAm and US offshore distribution firm

A group of industry veterans have partnered to launch a distribution firm targeting Latin American, US offshore and Spanish clients. 

Unicorn Strategic Partners will cater to institutional and retail clients from its offices in the Southern Cone and the US, according to a statement from the firm Wednesday announcing its opening. The firm will also target clients in Spain from its location in Madrid. 

The brainchild of David Ayastuy, a long-time headhunter for asset and wealth management firms, Unicorn is looking to leverage the natural links between markets such as Latin America retail and US offshore.

'We have a global proposal in that we serve markets that are totally related,' he told Citywire Americas.

Ayastuy has formally been working in setting up the firm for about a year, he said. During his years as a headhunter, he forged relationships with the new heads of each Unicorn business segment, all of whom are partners of the firm. 

Eduardo Ruiz-Moreno will lead Unicorn's Chile office, from where the firm will serve institutional clients in Chile, Peru and Colombia. With 24 years of experience in the industry, Ruiz-Moreno had previously worked as Latin America and Spain director at European asset manager Edmond de Rothschild.

Former Pioneer distribution director Florencia Bunge, who has been in the industry for 16 years, will lead the firm's retail line. Out of its offices in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Unicorn will cater to retail clients in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia, according to the statement.

Mike Kearns will develop the US offshore side of the business from the firm’s offices in Miami and New York. As an independent contractor, he currently markets Strategic Investments Group's funds to Latin American clients. He will retain those responsibilities as he partners with Unicorn. 

Kearns was also previously responsible for distribution in the Americas for Permal Group for more than 13 years. 

The Iberia region will be in the hands of Carlos Osés, who has served as sales manager for Spain at BNP Paribas Asset Management, NN Invesment Partners and WestLB Mellon, which was acquired BNY Mellon in 2012. 

At the outset, 10 staffers will make up Unicorn’s team with NFQ Group, an international consulting firm of which Ayastuy is a partner, offering back office support. 

The firm expects to announce its first representation agreements in the coming weeks. Ayastuy said Unicorn planned to work with 5 to 6 asset managers.  

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