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Hicham El Aissaoui from HL Capital is our Fund Selector of the Month

Hicham El Aissaoui from HL Capital is our Fund Selector of the Month

Discover the interview of our Fund Selector of the Month, Hicham El Aissaoui from HL Capital.
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19 DEC, 2023

By Johanna Zidani from RankiaPro Europe


Hicham El aissaoui is currently Chief Investment Officer at HL Capital, a company specialised in liquid alternative investment where he manages Quantitative European et US Technology Long Short and long only equity strategies with one main focus : downside risk management by avoiding or reducing drastically drawdowns. He is also an executive member of the Investment committee at Spearvest in Geneva. He holds a master’s degree in Banking from Sorbonne University in Paris.

When and how did you start your career in the financial sector?

Started my career in the financial sector in 2013 after graduating from Sorbonne University and integrated Athymis Gestion, an asset management boutique in Paris, as Junior Portfolio Manager. I was responsible for managing multi asset mandates/funds and selecting third party managers especially hedge funds and later launching one of the first thematic equity fund based on the Millennials trend. I want to give a shout-out to Tristan Delaunay and Stephane Toullieux, thanks for everything! After that, I moved to Geneva in 2018 to work for a multiple family office heading the advisory and the portfolio management department for UHNWI. In 2021, I joined Spearvest as Senior Investment Advisor/PM to manage multi asset portfolios and alternative investment.

 What does a typical workday look like for you? How do you organize your time?

Every day is a different day in advisory and discretionnary portfolio management. Some days are busier in terms of trading, structuring ideas, meeting clients while some are more about actively monitoring markets, macroeconomic news and monetary policies. Every aspect of our job is crucial for maintaining high standards and high reactivity in volatile environments.

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

One of the most important element in fund selection and especially in hedge funds is risk management and how consistent the strategies behaved in difficult market situations especially if you target low correlation or uncorrelated funds. Sometimes, market neutral or uncorrelated funds are in reality not providing the safety researched for those moments.

What mistakes are most frequently made in fund selection?

Many selector get lured by performance and don’t take really the time to analyse how it was made, how much risk was taken and don’t push quantitative analysis too far. History has shown that many funds were hiding illiquid positions, using too much leverage or had huge counterparty risks.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a selector?

ESG is definitely a challenge as most investment processes are “best in class” driven. Some ESG funds include oil and gas, tobacco companies and some times worst than that. History has shown that ESG performed poorly over the long term as well. Rather than selecting ESG funds, I prefer to use a stock picking approach by selecting companies that really change people’s life and truly preserve the climate in total transparency.

When you have free time, what do you like to do?

I am passionate about traveling and discovering new countries and cultures. One of my favorite trip was definitely Australia and its amazing panoramic landscapes, the exhausting flight duration worth it ! I am also riding motorbikes during my free time around the Leman Lake.

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