BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNP PAM) announced the purchase of a majority stake of Overlay Asset Management, a company incorporated in France, specialising in Currency Overlay.
Since its establishment in 1998, Overlay Asset Management has developed a set of models that features a systematic and automated approach to foreign exchange risk management. Its assets under management amount to nearly USD 1 billion. Its clients include multinational corporations and fund managers.
The acquisition of Overlay Asset Management is in line with BNP Paribas Asset Management's strategy of developing its Alternative Investments business.
Currency overlay is a priority development aim of BNP Paribas Asset Management. This market represents assets worth around USD150 billion. It has grown strongly in recent years, and has potential for even stronger growth among pension funds, major institutional investors in general, fund management companies and multinational corporations.
This acquisition will allow BNP Paribas Asset Management to benefit from proven technical expertise, recognised know-how and a 3-year track-record in Currency Overlay. OAM will retain its own name and keep its management autonomy ; Helie d'Hautefort, its founder, will remain in charge of the company.
In conjunction with this acquisition, BNP PAM will set up a global Currency Overlay platform in partnership with Fischer Francis Trees & Watts (FFTW), its affiliate which manages very large foreign exchange risk positions as part of its global fixed income management business.
This global hub will be operational from the second quarter of 2001.
Such initiatives illustrate that BNP Paribas Asset Management is taking in order to achieve its objective of rapidly becoming one of the world's leading Currency Overlay specialists.