Emerging markets have evolved into a markedly different asset class than 25 years ago, when Robert Koenigsberger founded Gramercy Funds Management LLC. And "the theme I have the most conviction on today is volatility. It will continue," said the founder of the firm with $5.3 billion in assets under management.
Since its founding in 1998, Gramercy has grown from a boutique emerging markets debt firm into an investment adviser with multiple hedge funds, separately managed accounts and a multiasset fund that represents best picks from four hedge fund strategies — long-only emerging markets debt, alternative credit, special situations, and capital lending/private credit in emerging markets.
"What emerging markets were back then (in 1998) were countries and corporations in default," said Mr. Koenigsberger, the Greenwich, Conn.-based managing partner and chief investment officer of the firm which he launched in the wake of Russia's debt crisis.
"The first decade we were a hedge fund. We chased the financial flus around the world, starting with the tequila crisis, Asian debt crisis, vodka crisis, tango crisis," he said. "Now, we've gone from being a hedge fund that's relevant some of the time to a product suite relevant all the time."
That includes Gramercy's global multiasset portfolio, or GMAP, which pension funds have invested in "because it can prevent them from being whipsawed by the volatility" of emerging markets debt, he said.