LA JOLLA, Calif. (HedgeWorld.com)--After eight years of serving as a unit of the Man Financial Group*, Jon Sundt's alternative investment team has spun-off their business to create Altegris Investments.
The newly independent firm will continue to serve institutional and high-net-worth investors looking to tap hedge funds and managed futures. And Altegris will continue to serve as an introducing broker for Man Financial, just as it has since Mr. Sundt first set up shop in sunny La Jolla, Calif., in 1994.
"It was a very amicable separation, and we will continue to have a strong relationship with Man. In fact, we're one of Man Financial's largest customers," Mr. Sundt said.
Altegris is starting from a strong base. Its existing clients oversee assets in excess of US$600 million targeted at hedge funds and managed futures.
"For our investor clients, the transition will be seamless. But as an independent firm, we will be able to do things differently, and offer a range of other hedge funds. The truth is, however, that we were always able to offer any (non-Man Group) hedge funds before. But for me, this fulfills a life-long dream I've had to have my own business."
The spin-off did not involve any cash transaction. Mr. Sundt and his management team are the owners of the firm. The unit's revenues will continue to be driven by fees paid by managers who get allocations. Investors typically don't pay fees.
"Our mission hasn't changed. What I've tried to do is build the kind of business in Altegris that I--as a high-net-worth investor--would want to go to invest in a hedge fund or managed futures program. I think investors want the type of boutique approach that we offer," he said.
Altegris, which acts as a consultant to investors, does not manage any funds of its own. The firm began with a futures focus, but in recent years has emphasized increasingly popular hedge fund alternatives. However, the group's managed futures efforts, which include research, proprietary software and asset raising, will continue at the independent firm.
With a staff of more than 25, the Altegris team also includes Robert Amedeo, chief operating officer, and Matthew Osborne, chief investment officer.
Mr. Amedeo is an attorney with 20-plus years experience in commodities and securities law who formerly served with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Osborne previously served as an investment manager for a New Zealand family office with US$200 million in alternatives. He was also research director for Mr. Sundt's group for the past five years.
Mr. Sundt forged his relationship with Man Financial more than a decade ago, when his futures commissions merchant (FCM) was acquired by Man.
Although Altegris is located just minutes from downtown San Diego, over the years the firm has built up a base of high-net-worth and institutional clients based all around the globe, rather than those in just Southern California, according to Mr. Sundt.