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An Interview With Moez Kassam, CIO At Anson Funds

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Below is our recent interview with Moez Kassam, Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager at Anson Funds:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?

A: Sure thing. Anson Funds is a privately held alternative asset management company. We were founded in 2003 and we have offices in both Toronto, Canada and Dallas, Texas. The Anson Investments Master Fund, or AIMF, is a long-short hedge fund, which means we aim to generate returns with low risk – we do this whilst maintaining market neutral positioning. We employ three strategies to accomplish this: Longs, Shorts and Special Situations.

Anson Funds currently has an AUM of C$1.5 billion, and we have been recognized by major financial publications including Bloomberg and Barron’s. Anson has also been ranked among the Top 10 Hedge Funds in several categories by BarclayHedge from 2018 to 2020. We were also previously recognized by Thomson Reuters and others.

Q: Could you provide some additional information into how Anson Funds provides consistent ROI to its clients?

A: I don’t think any investment firm survives very long without delivering results. You don’t get to rest on your laurels in this business. A critical part of our investment process is having a team of great analysts that drive high quality research.

I also believe that it’s more crucial than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, and that’s especially important for finance right now. On the one hand, you want to err on the side of conservative judgment when you’re handling someone else’s money. There’s an immense amount of trust that a client places in an investment firm, and it’s important to honor that trust.

At the same time, the finance industry is in a period of massive transformation, so you can’t keep doing things exactly the same way we did 20 years ago, and expect the same results. It’s a tricky balance, but I think Anson Funds has found a middle ground that rewards our clients.

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Q: You’re very involved in your community. Can you tell us more about that?

A: Yes, definitely, Marissa and I are genuinely interested in giving back to the community which led us to create the Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation, which supports vulnerable communities in the Toronto area. Most recently, we made a donation to the Michael Garron Hospital that was used to create a new state-of-the-art food court, graciously named after us. It’s never been more important to support the frontline healthcare staff that have worked so hard during this incredibly difficult time to keep all of us safe. While food and shelter is one of the core areas we support, anywhere that we feel that we can help with solving inequality and exclusion is an area we are interested in dedicating resources to. It’s important that we do what we can to further strengthen the community.

Q: Yes, you seem to have a passion for food and cooking, based on your other volunteer work. Is that right?

A: Absolutely. I love food, and I have been known to throw a dinner party here and there with family and friends. It’s important to come together over a good meal. I think it’s an integral part of a community and a well-functioning society.

I’ve spent a number of years supporting the Toronto Dîner en Blanc team, where I help guide the particulars of their annual events. I’m also a sitting judge for Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants and co-founded the Assembly Chef’s Hall which was sold in recent years.I like to keep a pulse on the global culinary scene and always try to visit up and coming restaurants, with a particular interest in meeting the people behind new concepts.

Q: While I’m sure you have a lot going on between Anson, your involvement in the community and your passion for food, how do you spend the remainder of your time?

A: I think first and foremost for me is actually my family. While we haven’t touched on it yet, wherever there’s an opportunity to involve family and friends outside of the day to day of Anson, I’ll jump on those opportunities. We generally love being up North, particularly in the summer so again as time permits, I try to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with friends and family up there. And if I’m lucky, getting some time away to explore the rest of the World, seeing new and exciting cities is also something we strive for each year.

Q: Anything special in the works at Anson Funds that you can tell us about? What’s next for you?

A: Anson Funds has a bright future in the fast-changing investment landscape and I’m very excited for the next few years. While I can’t go into detail, I look forward to continuing the momentum forward.

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