The Crédit Agricole Group announced the creation of a 50/50 joint venture between CAAM and Calyon: Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM). How did the project begin?
FATHI JERFEL: It was born out of CAAM and Calyon’s common desire to unite their structured product skills and seize all the opportunities thrown up by a buoyant and rapidly growing market,particularly in alternative management structuring.By combining all the skills associated with these techniques into a single organisation,we can provide investors, our trading partners and the regulatory authorities with the best quality in terms of processes, transparency and compliance.
Q: What are your areas of expertise?
FJ: CASAM has three product lines. First, structuring, an activity for which CASAM has been a leader from the outset in both Japan and France with 30% and 26% market share respectively (at September 2005). Second, exchange traded funds (ETF), with a range recently enriched with CAC40 Indexis, and finally, the managed account platform, offering leverage on internal expertise in hedge fund selection, risk management, middle office and client servicing. CASAM relies on a privileged relationship with CA-AIPG whose track-record in the field of funds of hedge funds is amongst the most recognised.
Q: How does innovation figure in your plans?
FJ: Innovation is fundamental to CASAM. It is possible thanks to the combination of CAAM and Calyon’s structuring capabilities in funds and notes and in innovative underlyings such as managed accounts, mutual funds or others that may come along in the future. CASAM’s global position means the group can speed up its distribution of innovative products.
Q: What are the main factors that differentiate CASAM?
FJ: Our starting point is the observation that our customers’ requirements are becoming more and more complex and demand added value solutions.The group has positioned CASAM to capture the potential that this change represents. Our strong points rely on the combination of our equity and funds structuring expertise in a single unit, a structuring capacity for all types of underlyings and all kinds of envelopes,and the accumulated skills of a trading floor/front office and asset manager, in terms of risk control, reporting and compliance.The group’s rating and balance sheet,the quality of both our shareholders and their international presence enable CASAM to be at the forefront of a structured product offering.
Q: Who will sell CASAM products?
FJ: CAAM and Calyon’s sales teams will both sell CASAM products in more than 60 countries enabling CASAM to be present internationally from the start. CASAM products will be distributed outside the group, under the CASAM brand or in the form of white labelled products.We are targeting overseas distribution networks, private banks and independent advisors in particular.
Q: How can we find out more about the company?
FJ: By visiting our website www.ca-sam.com or by meeting us at the Structured Products Asia conference in Hong Kong this month.
CASAM,brings together expertise from across the Crédit Agricole Group in structured investment products, alternative investment through managed accounts, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF).The company is the sole provider of such products within the Crédit Agricole Group.
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