Jean Pierre Verster: “Quantamental” Investing Helps Managers And Investors Avoid Behavioral Biases

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Jean Pierre Verster: “Quantamental” Investing Helps Managers And Investors Avoid Behavioral Biases
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Jean Pierre Verster CA (SA), CFA, CAIA was an analyst at 36ONE, South Africa’s largest hedge fund, from 2010-2016. For the last 10 years, he has been developing his proprietary “quantamental” model and has been running it in a friends and family fund for seven years. In 2016 Verster brought his proven model into a regulated (CISCA) South African hedge fund format at Fairtree Capital, a leading asset manager in South Africa. He is also working on expanding the model to international stocks. At a time when the global hedge fund industry is struggling, Verster has positioned his new fund as an attractive option for investors:

  • Innovative strategy that combines detailed fundamental with advanced quantitative investment styles
  • Founder’s share class with 0% management fee
  • Outperformance of index since fund launch
  • Efficient hedging
Jean Pierre Verster

Verster is convinced that the extensive use of computer models helps him to avoid behavioral biases. He also warns investors and managers that they should not allow an investment philosophy to become a dogma. “Don’t be stuck in your ways of making money”, he says, as 2016 and various recent “black swans” have shown that past patterns can change quickly and into directions that are hard to predict.

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Jean Pierre Verster is the portfolio manager of the Fairtree Protea Fund. Prior to joining Fairtree in 2016, he was an Analyst at 36ONE Asset Management since 2010. He served as a Portfolio Manager and Analyst at Melville Douglas Investment Management from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Verster has been an Independent Non-Executive Director of Capitec Bank and Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. since March 23, 2015. Mr. Verster completed the TOPP Graduate Training Program at Standard Bank Group where he fulfilled various roles, including as a credit and corporate research analyst in its Global Markets Research division. Mr. Verster commenced his career in 2005 as a financial manager in the insurance services environment and in 2006 he gained experience as an internal auditor in the retail banking environment. He is a chartered accountant and holds the CFA and CAIA designations. He also has a Hons. B.Compt from the University of South Africa.

Fairtree Capital is a leading South African investment management firm with extensive experience in alternative and traditional investments. 40 investment professionals are involved in managing 15 independent strategies which make up a combined AUM of ~R30bn (~ US$2.1 billion). Based in Cape Town, Fairtree offers retail and institutional funds across multiple asset classes and geographies, with a focus on South Africa. The company is one of the largest managers of alternative strategies in South Africa, managing roughly 9% of the total South African hedge fund assets. Its hedge fund strategies focus on a wide range of asset classes, including equity, fixed income, commodities and multi strategy portfolios, while the private equity funds focus on hospitality and empowerment. The Fairtree Market Neutral hedge fund is the longest running hedge fund of its kind in the South African market. Fairtree’s largest single investor is the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.

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