Insparo Asset Management has appointed Bibi Korvalian to lead a global marketing drive for the firm’s existing MENA funds and to help the firm develop a number of new frontier market products.
In a newly created role of Head of Sales and Marketing, Korvalian will be responsible for devising and implementing a marketing strategy to bring Insparo’s funds to new investors in Europe, the US and the Middle East. Formerly Head of Institutional Hedge Fund Sales at Deutsche Bank, Bibi brings a wealth of experience in global asset management and hedge funds sales to the role.
Korvalian’s appointment is a significant step in Insparo’s ambitious growth plans for its MENA-focused fund range. In addition to building up Insparo’s exisiting investor base, Bibi will have significant involvement in the firm’s ongoing growth strategy. In particular, she will play a key role in developing new funds that Insparo plan to launch to the market.
The marketing strategy will aim to capitalise on the firm’s outstanding track record of investing in the MENA region. Insparo’s flagship Africa and Middle East Fund has made positive returns of 32% since inception, compared to a DROP of almost 50% recorded by the MSCI Frontier market index over the same period. That track record has been achieved despite volatile investment conditions caused by the global downturn and, more recently, by the Arab Spring’s effect on local markets.
Korvalian will also lead the marketing efforts for the recently launched the Insparo Africa Equity Fund. Insparo’s highly anticipated second offering, which is managed by Jamie Allsopp, invests in equities across the African continent, with a particular focus on consumer-facing stocks
As Head of Institutional Hedge Fund Sales at Deutsche Bank, Korvalian was responsible for marketing funds directly to pension funds, insurance companies, proprietary banks and family offices. Her previous experience will be a key factor in developing the firm’s sales and marketing scope.
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Bibi was responsible for Sales in Europe and the Middle East for Paloma Partners Management Company. Bibi has also worked as Global Sales and Client Relations Manager at La Fayette Investment Management, after starting her career at Clinton Investment Group.
Mohammed Hanif, Founder of Insparo, says: “Our main focus since launch has been on establishing and maintaining strong performance in frequently volatile markets. Our track record bears out our success in that approach, and we have seen a significant interest from investors looking to add Frontier Markets to enhance returns as well as add diversification to risk.
Korvalian’s experience illustrates her strong hedge fund sales pedigree and her knowledge of institutional sales in international markets will be invaluable to both the continued growth of our current funds, and in helping us to tailor our new products to appeal to the market.”
Korvalian says: “The current appetite for frontier market strategies from investors across the world makes this is an opportune time for a manager like Insparo. The performance of the funds so far supports our conviction in the MENA growth story, and I believe there is significant potential for further success – both in the existing funds and for the projects we have in the pipeline. I’m looking forward to helping them achieve that success.”