Peter Laib, who left Zurich-based fund of funds firm Adveq in 2010, has co-founded an investment boutique which will structure investments to let institutions and sophisticated investors invest in the diamond industry.
Diamond Asset Advisors structures investment opportunities to target all stages of the diamond industry, from mining to jewellery retail.
“Such instruments open access for investors to the diamond industry and significantly improve efficiency along the industry’s value chain,” according to the firm’s website.
Diamonds show overall lower volatility than other asset classes, the website continues, and the average returns are only exceeded by gold, which is more volatile. Furthermore, the site continues, there is “almost no correlation to other asset classes” and provides an inflation hedge “characteristic of hard assets”.
To form Diamond Asset Advisors, Laib has teamed up with a number of diamond industry veterans and alternative investment professionals including former Adveq colleague Claudio Ghisu. Ghisu had joined Adveq as a financial controller in 2005 and had progressed to take on an investor relations role, managing relationships with Adveq’s largest institutional clients.
Joining Laib and Ghisu are three managing directors: Theodorus Strous and Heinz-Joerg Jansen, two former managing directors from the Antwerp Diamond Bank; and Ray Simpson, executive vice-president of Harry Winston Diamond Corporation, who will join the firm later this year.
Laib left Adveq, a firm with around $4 billion under management, in June 2010. He had been with the firm for 11 years, latterly as managing director. Firm co-founder André Jaeggi left Adveq in 2009. Co-founder Bruno Raschle remains at Adveq’s helm.