High-potential finance start-up aims to raise €30m in funds

1 Feb 2012

Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up Gandon Alternative Fund Management Limited (GAFM) has been approved to be regulated by the Central Bank and aims to raise €30m in funds by the end of March.

The firm is supported by the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up Programme, through an investment of €200,000.  

The company, headquartered in Dublin, employs six full-time staff and is one of a limited number of regulated independent investment managers based in Ireland to receive regulatory approval in the last 24 months.   

GAFM was incorporated by David Cullen and Michael Logan, both of whom have significant experience across the investment banking and hedge fund sectors in Ireland and internationally.  

GAFM has about €10m in funds under management and is increasing its size. The firm operates The Gandon Phoenix Fund, which is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority, and is managed as a discretionary macro CTA (Commodity Trading Adviser).

The Gandon Phoenix Fund invests in exchange traded futures and options that provide exposure to currencies, commodities, fixed income and stock indices, both from a long and short side. The Gandon Phoenix Fund can now also be accessed by the full range of different pension investors through the Independent Trustee Company (ITC).   

“Securing regulatory approval was a significant factor for us and was a key step in our growth strategy,” GAFM’s CEO Michael Logan explained.


“As a regulated investment manager, we are delighted to have satisfied the Central Bank’s regulatory requirements to operate in this sector in Ireland. We are focused on expanding our team over the coming months, with the addition of further front-office staff.  

“We wish to retain the best financial talent in Ireland and to challenge the view that you cannot grow employment in this sector.”

GAFM manages funds on behalf of individuals, trustees of investment and pension fund portfolios in Ireland.

David Cullen, chief investment officer, Gandon Alternative Fund Management, said: “The area of independent fund management is, we believe, a growth sector in Ireland going forward. The model and structure that we have put in place is scalable, and as a team we are aiming to increase our funds under management to €30m by the end of Q1 2012.  

“Reaching this milestone will see GAFM completing the next phase of our strategy to become a full international investment business,” Cullen added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years