UK/EUROPE - Pension funds and other institutional investors have poured assets into Barclays Global Investors' European Equity Market Neutral Fund.
The Dublin-registered fund, launched on November 1, 2002, has already closed to investors after hitting its E500m capacity.
Director of hedge fund products at BGI, Mark Fitzgerald, said: “Interest in the fund has been phenomenal, both from existing and new clients. Such has been the demand, that investors not fortunate enough to have beaten the rush are now included on a waiting list of interested parties.”
He added: “In a time when the failure rate for hedge funds is increasing and some managers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract investment, BGI’s track record in hedge funds is bucking the trend. Investors want hedge funds with good performance records based on proven investment principles.”
The European Equity Market Neutral Fund is non-directional and aims to produce returns that are uncorrelated to European equity markets. BGI said that the management process is based on a “singular investment philosophy that manages risk, cost and return equally.”
The fund is denominated in Euros and US dollars, with a minimum investment of E250,000. The portfolio will limit its exposure to 350 individual stocks from a universe of 500. The fund aims to deliver a net return of 10% per year above three-month Libid and maintain a volatility of 10% per year, relative to the MSCI Europe and FTA Developed Europe (ex-UK ex-Greece).
This is the second market neutral strategy to be launched by BGI Europe. The UK Equity Market Neutral Fund closed to new investment in May at capacity of US$750m. In total BGI manages US$2bn in hedge fund strategies.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.