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Vertex launches long/short Australian equity fund

Sydney-based Vertex Capital Management International has launched a long/short Australian equity fund that mirrors the management of its Australian unit trust, The VCM Relative Value Fund.

The Australian Relative Fund Limited takes long and short positions in the Top 100 corporations listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The fund manager is Craig Turnbull, VCMI's Investment Director for relative strategies. Mr Turnbull is assisted by research analyst Gaurav Chopra.

Mr Turnbull had assisted VCM's Director Kim Ivey in running the Relative Value portfolio in 2001 and took full responsibility for the portfolio in 2002. Prior to joining Vertex in 2001, Mr Turnbull had been CIO at Tower Asset Management since 1997.

Using proprietary investment models, Mr Turnbull will take long positions in undervalued Australian companies with improving fundamentals and short positions in overvalued companies with deteriorating fundamentals.

Between 15-20 stocks are held in each portfolio and gross leverage will be kept between 0.5 to 2.25 times, with 1.8 times being normally deployed.

Minimum investment in Cayman-domiciled The Australian Relative Value Fund Limited is US$100,000. The prime broker is Morgan Stanley, the fund administrator is Bank of Bermuda and the auditor is Ernst & Young.

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