CAPE TOWN, (January 2019). Fixed income fund manager J-P du Plessis has joined Laurium Capital, the boutique asset manager which manages several hedge and long-only funds in South Africa and the rest of Africa. In the past, Laurium has focused predominantly on equity , but with the growth in the multi-asset funds it manages, decided it wanted to extend its expertise by adding a fixed income specialist to its investment team. Du Plessis, who joined Laurium at the beginning of January, will be managing a flexible income fund as well as a low equity, multi-asset class fund using his 20 years’ financial markets experience to further enhance Laurium’s product offering and performance.
Du Plessis says his high-level strategy for the two funds he will manage is to generate returns with a focus on managing risk and volatility. “Most investors in fixed income funds invest for a relatively short time horizon and are consequently more sensitive to capital movements,” Du Plessis says. “The two funds aim to achieve inflation-beating returns but with controlled risk and low volatility which will be achieved to a large extent by the sizing of the exposure to fixed income assets, particularly in the multi-asset fund.”
Before joining Laurium, Du Plessis spent nine years at investment and wealth manager Prescient, where he was deputy head of fixed income. He wanted to move back to a boutique investment house and focus on investing. “The team at Laurium are very impressive and knowledgeable; it is always inspiring to work with smart people,” he says. “My role will also give me the opportunity to be involved in broader asset allocation investing in the multi-asset class funds.”
Prior to working at Prescient, Du Plessis worked in London, where his last job before moving back to South Africa was at a fund management company where he focused on fixed interest hedge fund investing. Before that, he was a senior investment analyst for a US$1bn fund of hedge funds, run by Schroders Investment Management, where he was responsible for fixed interest, credit and event-driven strategies. He also served as head of fixed income evaluations at Standard & Poor’s having started his career on the proprietary bond trading desk of a German bank based in London. Du Plessis is a CFA charter holder and has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town.