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Arbitrage Fund

A new alternative investment for an absolute return 



Special interview with Mr. Marc Amirault, Founder, President and CIO at Crystalline Management 


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Global geopolitical and economic uncertainties affect us all. To better withstand them, TIMC uses a holistic approach of strategically diversifying your assets and citizenships simultaneously across the globe, to preserve your wealth and family’s future.

It is with great pleasure that we present here the Amethyst Arbitrage Fund, managed by Crystalline Management, our newest and reputed partner, helping you to diversify geographically your financial wealth.

In this special interview, you will understand why, in over 20 years, the fund has outperformed most global equity and bond indices as well as a few diversified hedge fund indices.



Ms. Monique Copti, Copywriter at TIMC:
Dear Mr. Amirault, thank you for this special interview. Could you please start by telling us what motivated you to create Crystalline Management?

M. Marc Amirault, Founder, President and Chief Investment Officer at Crystalline Management :

Prior to founding Crystalline, for over 13 years I worked at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of Canada’s largest institutional pension managers. During my last years there, I convinced senior management to launch a niche arbitrage strategy designed to exploit inefficiencies in Canadian capital markets, which were being ignored by other investors.

I successfully ran this strategy for four years, but realized that very few Managers were offering low volatility and low correlation absolute strategies that were suitable for institutional investors.

So I decided that it was time to become an entrepreneur, and in 1998 I founded Crystalline to seize on this opportunity and began offering the same strategy to a broader array of sophisticated investors.  




Ms. Copti:
In the highly competitive field of alternative financial products, could you explain how Crystalline Management has managed so well to remain successful?

Mr. Amirault: 
As a firm we embrace humbleness, candidness, discipline and patience. This has been the key to keeping our clients, employees and shareholders happy.

Our strategy, and everything we do, is tailored around our philosophy, our personalities and our skill-sets. This is how we developed our edge, and we stick to it.

We also come from an institutional background. So by design, our fund is tailored to meet the needs of institutional and sophisticated investors… This is the world that we know best.

It also means on-going open/transparent dialogue with clients, because by combining understanding with transparency, clients have realistic expectations and won’t panic every time Trump sends a tweet or markets have a bleep.


Ms. Copti:
You rely on three pillars for your investment philosophy; what are they?

Mr. Amirault:
Integrity, transparency, and expertise are our core guiding principles.

By integrity, we mean that clients’ interests always come before our own.

By transparency, we mean that we are committed to explaining how we manage money, why we make the decisions that we do, and what we have in the portfolio.

By expertise, we mean that we strive to continually improve our knowledge, process and systems, to continue to be industry leaders.




Ms. Copti:
When was the Amethyst Fund created and to which category of investors is the fund targeted? 

Mr. Amirault:
I launched the Canadian version of the fund in July of 1998… so it is this month celebrating its 20th birthday.

Approximately 85% of our investors are institutional. This means that we regularly undergo extensive due diligence reviews by highly sophisticated investors, and that to satisfy their rigorous standards, we have to follow industry best practices.

The balance of our clientele is mostly high-net-worth individuals and families, which is a growing segment for us. This is one of the reasons why we are so excited to be working in partnership with TIMC. I am confident that the Fund is an excellent fit TIMC’s for international high-net worth clients looking to diversify and preserve their financial wealth.


Ms. Copti:
What are the Fund's investment objectives and how do you manage to achieve them?

Mr. Amirault:
The Fund’s primary objective is to generate an investment return of 5% - 10% above the return on 91 day US LIBOR with an annualized volatility of 5%-7%.

Secondary objectives are capital preservation and very low correlation with other asset classes like stocks and bonds.

Although over time we have evolved, along with the markets, our overall approach remains largely unchanged from the beginning. I think that it’s also worth mentioning that there has never been any turn-over in the portfolio management team and that all key employees are also Crystalline shareholders.





Ms. Copti:
Could you tell us about the Fund's performance history?

Mr. Amirault:
The Canadian fund has delivered an 8.3% annualized return, after all fees, since inception 20 years ago.

Over those 20 years, the fund has outperformed most global equity and bond indices as well as diversified hedge fund indices like the HFRI global HF Index.


Ms. Copti:
How do you see the Fund evolving over time?

Mr Amirault:
We still see plenty of opportunity, for example we are currently studying a small sub segment of the US convertible bond market where we think that there is an opportunity employ our same proven process and get similar results.

So over the next few years you may see us slightly more active in US markets, but if we do, it will be in a very measured and prudent way.

At the same time, we will continue to re-invest in our firm, adding talent, and developing or improving our systems so that we can strengthen our processes and hopefully continue to deliver compelling returns to our clients.


Ms. Copti:
To what extent do you believe Crystalline Management can be part of TIMC's holistic approach to preserving the future of our high net worth clients?

Mr. Amirault:
TIMC and Crystalline have complimentary value propositions and similar philosophies. In both cases our client’s best interests inform everything that we do, and the success of our business is contingent on the success of our clients.

Our investment strategy, when added to a diversified investment portfolio, provides a number of benefits such as tax efficient solution that can help international clients meet their long-term objectives. 


Ms. Copti:
Thank you, Mr. Amirault, for taking the time to respond to these interview questions and for all the information you have provided about this financial product, which promises to be a compelling opportunity for our distinguished clients.

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