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Investment
GMO acquires Japanese equity manager

Global investment firm GMO has acquired a Japanese investment advisory firm and nabbed two senior executives from PGIM's quantitative investment manager QMA.

GMO has acquired Usonian Investments, a value-orientated Japanese equity manager.

"Usonian manages more than US$1 billion for several premier institutions and has built a compelling track record over nearly a decade, investing through deep research and proactive engagement with management to enhance corporate value," GMO said.

"The Usonian strategy will be available as a new standalone offering for GMO clients and a complementary investment within GMO asset allocation portfolios."

The move comes as the firm directs capital towards areas of the market where it sees "compelling opportunities".

Meantime, QMA chief investment officer Roy Henriksson will join GMO in October in the newly created role of head of investment risk and trading.

He will be responsible for providing risk oversight across all of GMO's investment and trading activities and will also contribute to the firm's quantitative research efforts.

Henriksson spent eight years with the quantitative manager, having previously spent a decade at New York specialty investment manager Advanced Portfolio Management.

QMA managing director and head of global multi-asset solutions George Sakoulis will rejoin GMO as its head of investment teams in August, after having spent more than six years with the quantitative investment manager.

Previously, Sakoulis had served as GMO's portfolio manager and head of quantitative equity research for its emerging markets division.

Prior to his time at GMO, Sakoulis worked with Numeric Investors as a partner and director of European strategies. He started off his career at JP Morgan as a quantitative analyst and portfolio manager, before moving to UBS to work as a quantitative strategist and portfolio manager.

In his new role, Sakoulis will oversee all of GMO's investment teams outside of its asset allocation team (led by Ben Inker).

He takes over from Andrew Martin, who served in the role for more than three years, and will now take on a role as head of investment product strategy, where he will be responsible for driving product strategy and finding new alpha opportunities for the firm.

The firm also announced two additional senior appointments. These include the promotion of Carolyn Haley from co-head of operations to head of operations, finance, and fund treasury and tax; as well as Hylton Socher, who joined GMO in January as its chief technology officer.

Read more: GMOPGIMGeorge SakoulisRoy HenrikssonAndrew MartinBen InkerCarolyn HaleyHylton SocherUsonian Investments
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