From One-Man Band to Orchestra

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Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – After several years of successfully managing his hedge fund and asset management firm all by himself, Aalborg-based stock picker Andreas Aaen has turned Symmetry Invest from a one-man band into a high-performing orchestra of six people.

“A small size is an advantage, but being too small is a disadvantage,” previously argued Aaen, who founded Symmetry Invest in early 2013 to manage his own money and capital from friends and family. The strong returns resulting from Aaen’s stock picking approach – an annualized return of 19.4 percent since early 2013 – helped Symmetry Invest grow its assets under management to over €85 million, sowing the seeds of a long-running professionally managed hedge fund boutique.

“We have been able to use our incremental fees to reinvest into the business around people, but also data, subscriptions, research capabilities, etc.”

“We have been able to use our incremental fees to reinvest into the business around people, but also data, subscriptions, research capabilities, etc.,” Aaen comments on how more fee-based revenue due to strong performance and a larger asset base benefits both Symmetry Invest and its investors. “Another important factor is the specialist roles we now have in-house,” emphasizes the founder. In addition to having co-portfolio manager Henrik Abrahamsson and analyst Sebastian Savic helping Aaen in managing Symmetry Invest’s portfolio, the Symmetry team also includes dedicated roles across different departments, with Casper Munksø Thomsen working as financial officer, Jon Højlund Arnfred as technology officer, and Kim Hoberg Nielsen as Head of Client Relations. “We want to leverage our in-house resources and take Symmetry to the next step.”

“We have been in business for ten years now and our three best years were our three most recent ones, 2019, 2020, and 2021…a sign that we have been successful in scaling our business without compromising on our returns.”

With Symmetry Invest delivering stronger returns recently than in its early years, Aaen has shown some evidence that size is an advantage. “We have been in business for ten years now and our three best years were our three most recent ones, 2019, 2020, and 2021,” says Aaen. “This demonstrates that our increased size, fees and thereby reinvestments into the business are still a positive net factor for both our existing and new investors.” Symmetry Invest’s journey in recent years “is a sign that we have been successful in scaling our business without compromising on our returns,” according to Aaen.

More Resources, a Better-Equipped Strategy

Symmetry’s main objectives so far have been delivering better returns and service to investors. The evolution from a one-man band into a orchestra of six people is helping Symmetry Invest in pursuing those objectives. “We have annualized returns of 19.4 percent since inception and an ambition to keep up with significantly higher returns than the market in the future,” says Aaen. “With dedicated IR and finance roles, we have optimized our reporting, communications, events, while our improved IT capabilities have made us able to improve both external reporting to investors but also our internal dataflow and risk management system,” explains the recently-appointed Head of Client Relations Kim Hoberg Nielsen. “This of course also the effect of freeing up time for Andreas to focus most of his time on the research process.”

“There have been plenty of mistakes made over the years. But our learning curve has been really steep and we are structurally at a much stronger place now.”

The additional monetary and workforce resources have also strengthened Symmetry’s investment approach and portfolio management. “We have improved our investment capabilities a lot as we now are a team researching ideas,” says Hoberg. “Everything from checklists, research tools, risk management, etc. have improved a lot,” he continues. With Andreas Aaen starting Symmetry Invest as a 23-year-old with no investment background, his Symmetry journey “has been learning by doing all the way,” according to Aaen. “There have been plenty of mistakes made over the years. But our learning curve has been really steep and we are structurally at a much stronger place now.” The strong returns in recent years, including the much more challenging 2022, could be an indication of this.

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Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun
Eugeniu Guzun serves as a data analyst responsible for maintaining and gatekeeping the Nordic Hedge Index, and as a journalist covering the Nordic hedge fund industry for HedgeNordic. Eugeniu completed his Master’s degree at the Stockholm School of Economics in 2018. Write to Eugeniu Guzun at eugene@hedgenordic.com

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