Hedge fund firm Vega Asset Management is forming a joint venture with BBVA, a Spanish financial services company. The new firm, Proxima Alfa Investments, will offer alternative investment strategies through offices in Madrid, London and New York. BBVA is taking a 51% stake in the new firm and will contribute $1 billion of seed capital. Jose Barreiro, head of BBVA's global markets and corporate and investment banking, will be chairman of Proxima Alfa. Vega will hold a 49% stake and will contribute its VegaPlus hedge fund incubation platform to the new venture. The platform has 10 single-strategy hedge funds managing a total of $2 billion. Proxima Alfa will also seed, develop and market single-strategy hedge funds under terms of a multiyear contract, according to the statement. Vega Asset will continue to manage five hedge funds and two hedge funds of funds, said Vega spokesman Robin Gilliland.
Vega Asset also announced that Michael Mann, global head of marketing, was also named CEO for the firm's U.S. operations, effective immediately. He replaces Jon Berg, who will retire but remain a consultant to the hedge fund manager, according to a company statement.