Given the extreme market volatility of recent years, managing a successful hedge fund requires more agility, adaptability, and intelligence than ever. Anson Funds, a Toronto-based hedge fund co-founded by Moez Kassam, has risen to this challenge.
Kassam co-founded Anson Funds in 2007, where he also serves as CIO. Under his management, Anson Funds has grown into one of Canada’s most prominent investment funds with total assets under management reaching an estimated $1.5 billion at the end of 2021.
In addition to his primary role as the founder and CIO of Anson, Kassam is also an experienced venture capitalist, philanthropist and community leader. It is in these latter two roles that he and his wife, Marissa, founded the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation, which supports various nonprofits in their hometown of Toronto and across Canada.
As an alternative asset management company, Anson Funds has developed three primary investment strategies: classic shorts, value longs and opportunistic investments. These strategies have generated market-beating returns for the company’s largest funds, which include the Anson Investments Master Fund, or AIMF.
According to Kassam, his investors’ greatest priority is generating consistent returns regardless of the market environment. “This is a very competitive industry,” Kassam noted. “Any successful investment fund needs to show real and consistent results throughout various market cycles. Anyone can have a decent quarter, or even a market-beating year, but consistency over time is what generates sustainable success.”
That is exactly what Anson Funds has been able to provide its clients. Both Barron’s and Bloomberg have recognized Anson Funds as a top-performing hedge fund over the years. Kassam’s team was also ranked among the Top 10 Hedge Funds by Barclay Managed Funds, which selected organizations based on annualized returns from 2018-2020, and was named the Best Equity Hedge Fund of 2021 by Hedgeweek.
Another factor which has been vital to Anson Funds’ success has been the commitment of its investment professionals to put their own money into their investment products alongside outside investors.
“We invest in our own funds,” Kassam said. “That ensures that our investors know our interests are aligned, that we have genuine skin in the game. They know we’re in this together, our own savings are being put to work alongside their own, and we strive to be cautious and prudent investors who are worthy of the trust of our LPs.”
“There’s no time to rest on your laurels at Anson Funds,” Kassam continued. “We analyze the markets every minute of everyday. Things move incredibly quickly in this modern world…it’s a 24/7 business. Constant vigilance, scanning the world for both opportunities and risks – that’s how you get ahead and stay ahead.”
A Recognized Philanthropist
Moez and his wife, Marissa, founded The Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation in 2016. The foundation is dedicated to supporting organizations that operate within five primary areas of impact: food and shelter, education, healthcare, immigrant integration, and arts and culture. Most of these organizations are based in Toronto, their hometown.
Through the foundation, Kassam has made a $1 million donation to Michael Garron Hospital, which resulted in a new state-of-the-art food court. He also recently made a $1 million contribution to the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
Nonprofits supported by the foundation include CampFire Circle, a summer camp aimed at memorable experiences for children affected by cancer, and many other organizations such as the Doctors Without Borders, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto and The Toronto Foundation for Student Success.
“My wife and I share a deep love for our city,” Kassam said. “We founded the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation to make sure we were a part of making this city a better place for everyone. We particularly look to partner with charities that focus on supporting the city’s most vulnerable communities, these are the heroes who we feel honored to support in any way we can.”
A Dedicated Volunteer
Kassam also sits on the boards of several important non-profit institutions, including the Canadian Olympic Committee Foundation, Ryerson University’s Technology Innovation Circle, the Immigrant Access Fund and many others.
Through his involvement in these dynamic organizations, Kassam has been able to connect with other community leaders, and jointly work to achieve a more just and harmonious society.
“I believe that small groups of truly dedicated people can achieve what many believe to be impossible,” Kassam said. “When people with shared ideals come together, commit their time and energy, and collaborate for a common purpose, great things are possible.”
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