Chris Kalin, known as the "Passport King" for his role in turning the niche business of offering citizenship to wealthy foreigners into a multibillion-dollar industry, has quietly amassed a sizable fortune through his involvement in quantitative trading. As the co-founder of Arnova Capital, an investment firm specializing in systematic trading strategies, Kalin has achieved remarkable success, with the firm's returns reaching about 2,000% since its inception in the early 2000s, as reported by Trade Algo.
Based in Zug, Switzerland, Arnova Capital maintains a relatively low-profile, but it has made strategic bets on energy prices during the pandemic and participated in the trading frenzy surrounding GameStop Corp., contributing to its current assets under management surpassing $250 million.
Amidst recent market volatility and a growing trend of investors seeking external money managers, Kalin, who holds at least $100 million in Arnova, is now focusing on directly managing his own wealth. He believes that preserving and growing wealth involves seeking opportunities continuously.
Kalin's association with Henley & Partners, a citizenship-by-investment advisory firm, began in the late 1990s when it was a relatively unknown wealth management and immigration consultancy. Over the years, he has played a pivotal role in helping numerous governments raise around $12 billion through citizenship or residency programs while advising thousands of multimillionaires on acquiring convenient passports.
Arnova's trajectory reflects a broader trend among wealthy individuals seeking greater control over their investments, challenging the traditional role of private banks and investment firms catering to the ultra-wealthy. Arnova has taken steps to open up its services, offering fund-like products to external investors interested in its proprietary strategies, including contrarian bets beyond its usual systematic trading approach.
Kalin co-founded Arnova in 2003 alongside Pendo Lofgren, the firm's Chief Investment Officer. Their trading style involves capitalizing on market optimism or pessimism and venturing into non-systematic strategies when opportunities arise. Among their notable trades were investments in fossil fuel companies during negative oil price periods and shorting GameStop during the 2021 Reddit-fueled surge.
Despite their success, the pair remains focused on investing and prefers outsourcing administrative tasks to banks and brokerages to streamline their operations. Kalin's wealth in Arnova represents a significant portion of his liquid assets, alongside his involvement in other ventures, such as Swiss health-advisory firm SIP Medical Family Office and a global real estate portfolio.
With an eye on potential opportunities in shipping-tanker companies listed on smaller stock exchanges and oil producers in Latin American countries with left-wing political leadership, Kalin and Lofgren are poised to navigate the ever-changing investment landscape while remaining committed to their investment philosophy.
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