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Santiago-based PICTON ADVISORS is Baring Asset Management‘s new distributor in Chile, and will be focused mainly on promoting and supporting Baring’s funds with Chilean managers.

Angus Woolhouse, head of global distribution at Barings, said his firm manages assets of some of the world’s largest pension funds, and “working with Chile’s private pension managers (AFPs) is a natural extension of what we do.”

Meanwhile, Matías Eguiguren, founding member of PICTON, said his firm was quite hopeful about the new agreement, “given the investment capabilities of Baring and our wide and deep understanding of the local pension market.”

It’s important to note that Barings is by no means a new player in Chile, and in 2010 it had amassed close to USD USD 1 billion in AFP assets – mostly in emerging-markets-equity and Asian funds. However, in 2011, the AFPs were forced to redeem their investments in the firm in 2011, when regulators barred Ireland-domiciled funds from the AFP investment menu. That move was based on the country’s temporary loss of investment-grade status.

Barings had attained those assets via a distribution agreement with local broker and investment bank Celfin Capital, whose international fund distribution business at the time was headed by Eguiguren. Celfin was later sold to Brazilian firm BTG Pactual, and Eguiguren – after a brief stint in government working for the administration of Sebastián Piñera – set up his own shop with PICTON, which also handles institutional distribution of Morgan Stanley and MFS funds in Chile.

“Between the two firms, local AFPs have more than USD 1 billion, and with the incorporation of Baring, we hope to make our product offering even more attractive, especially in Europe and Asia, where Barings has a long and admirable track record,” Eguiguren told Fund Pro Latin America.