DECALIA appoints Lead Portfolio Manager for investment selection in private markets

The Geneva-based asset management company DECALIA Asset Management has hired Reji Vettasseri as Lead Portfolio Manager for alternative funds and mandates invested in private markets.

Vettasseri is an experienced private debt and private equity investor with more than 14 years’ industry experience. He joins DECALIA from Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Identifying investments in unlisted markets is one of the areas of expertise developed by DECALIA, allowing it to offer investors advantaged solutions in the current environment of negative interest rates, economic slowdown and high stock market valuations.
Before joining DECALIA, Vettasseri was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners in London, where he was a senior member of a team that built diversified portfolios of private markets investments. His responsibilities included leading the group’s private debt and special situations investment activities in Europe, and he has experience with direct investment and manager selection across a range of private equity and private credit market sub-segments. Before Morgan Stanley, he began his career as a consultant at Bain & Company in London, before working for 5 years at Goldman Sachs in London where he was an Executive Director in the EMEA investment banking team. Vettasseri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School.
Relative to listed assets, private markets remain largely inefficient and therefore offer an under-exploited potential for outperformance for managers with differentiated origination and due diligence capabilities. With growing demand from investors, USD 5,800 billion is now invested in private markets, but DECALIA’s investment philosophy is to focus resolutely on those sub-segments of the market which remain undercapitalised and offer the greatest potential for superior risk-adjusted returns.
To meet the needs of a sophisticated client base that includes wealthy individuals, family offices, institutional investors and private banks, DECALIA has developed unique expertise in this demanding area, thanks to a highly experienced management team and a network that is particularly rich in high-level contacts. Over the course of the last five years, it has developed partnerships with specialists of a dozen private market strategies in less competitive segments, with a particular focus on private credit. These include specialist areas such as hybrid capital solutions for European businesses, real estate lending, litigation funding, film production financing, co-investment and mezzanine debt. With the arrival of Vettasseri, DECALIA intends to develop its own investment management expertise in the long term. Headed by Rodolfo De Benedetti, Partner and Head of Product Strategy, the team is run by Nicoló Miscioscia, Head of Private Markets.

De Benedetti says: “In the current environment, private markets represent a source of alpha that remains relatively untapped. In addition, as a number of high potential companies are no longer in any hurry to be listed, investors who restrict their investments to listed companies are missing out on many opportunities. Reji Vettasseri’s experience will considerably strengthen our expertise in this area and help us to offer new strategies.”

Vettasseri adds: “I am delighted to be joining an exceptional team at DECALIA, which shares my passion for developing innovative ways to access advantaged opportunities in specialist markets. At a time when areas such as private debt are undergoing rapid development, I believe there is an unprecedented opportunity to develop new solutions that offer our clients superior risk-adjusted returns.”