Stephen Jen Sells Fund Stake to Intesa’s Eurizon Capital

  • Eurizon owns 65% in new firm; Jen and Fatih Yilmaz own 35%
  • Jen’s new role is CEO while Tommaso Corcos becomes chairman

Stephen Jen, a Morgan Stanley alumnus who set up hedge fund SLJ Macro Partners LLP five years ago, has sold his majority stake in the company to Eurizon Capital SGR, an asset-management unit of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.

A new company called Eurizon SLJ Capital Ltd., established on July 4, will provide investment and advisory services from London, with Jen as the chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer, according to the Italian firm’s website. Milan-based Eurizon Capital, which oversees about $300 billion, owns 65 percent of the new company while Jen and the other SLJ founding partner Fatih Yilmaz, who will be co-CIO, own the remaining 35 percent.  

Eurizon Capital and Jen did not disclose the sale price. The two companies had been in discussion about doing business together since the start of 2015, according to Jen.

“Eurizon Capital is one of the largest and fastest-growing asset-management companies in Europe,” Jen said in London. “Due to Eurizon’s size and our investment style, and our respective expertise in various markets and asset classes, there is a great deal of synergy in such an alliance. We are all most excited about our future.”

Eurizon Capital said in its earnings report published on Nov. 9 that a partnership with SLJ had started.

‘Dollar-Smile’ Theory

“The agreement with SLJ Macro Partners allows Eurizon Capital’s entry to London through a partnership with an excellent company,” Eurizon CEO Tommaso Corcos said in the report. “The complimentary nature of our business models and the expertise of our people will originate great growth and value creation opportunities,” he said.

Jen is known for the “dollar-smile” theory he developed with his Morgan Stanley colleagues in 2001 which predicts gains for the greenback during times when the U.S. economy is either in a deep slump or growing strongly, and underperformance during times of moderate growth.

Among his latest views is that concern regarding the fallout from the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union may be overblown. He said Britain will do well post-Brexit as the country has solid economic fundamentals.  

Jen joined BlueGold Capital Management LLP in May 2009 as managing director of macroeconomics after he left Morgan Stanley, where he headed the global currency strategy team. He set up SLJ, which specializes in foreign exchange, in 2011. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Jen was an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

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