Liberty Ermitage exceeds US$1 billion level and expands team

The successful launches of Global Strategy, Strategic Partners and the Gold & Resources funds, has catapulted the Liberty Ermitage Group (LEG) into the Billion Dollar Hedge Fund Club.


The three launches have collectively pulled in over US$280 million in assets under management and the Group has been hiring a number of top professionals to continue its asset growth.


The Group has over US$2.5bn under management with US$600m in money funds, US$800m in equity and bond funds and US$1.1 billion in hedge funds.  LEG's hedge funds have more than doubled over the last year.


Ian Cadby, Deputy CIO and Head of Strategic Investments said: "The Group has won a number of significant and highly visible institutional mandates in the past six months and we are gearing up for the next phase in our growth. As a Group we consciously hire seniors with a high technical competency and the capital markets downturn has come at a very favourable time for us.  We have been able to attract some highly talented people from mainstream investment banks to bolster our investment team, our preference always being to hire ex-traders and hands-on money managers".


Cadby's strategic investment team, largely Jersey based, has been expanded to incorporate two more ex-traders / money managers.  Charles Howlett joins Liberty Ermitage as Senior Portfolio Manager, and will work closely with Cadby on the Liberty Ermitage Strategic Partners Fund.  Howlett, an equity specialist, comes with 9 years hands on investment management experience, having previously run hedge funds at Regent Pacific Group and latterly on the European desk at DKB, in London.


Also joining Cadby's team is Alan Scrimger.  Alan has extensive experience in foreign exchange and interest rate trading having held senior positions at both Lloyds TSB and latterly Royal Bank of Scotland International, where he ran the Sterling interest rate book.  Jonathan Wauton, Co-founder of the strategic investments program and based in London, also oversees the Groups Risk Management function.


Ron Mitchell, Group CEO, and CIO said: "I believe the most effective way to forensically analyse hedge fund strategies and businesses is to be able to 'speak the manager's language'.  We pride ourselves in having a high complement of ex- hedge fund traders within our team, who really do understand complex trading models, the underlying strategies and the hedge fund business model. Manager's frequently tell me that our people know as much about their business as they do - there can be no better reference for us."


Background Note: Liberty Ermitage Group (LEG) is a research led asset management firm whose disciplined approach encompasses rigorous analysis at the macro & strategy levels.  This top down approach is complemented by bottom up manager evaluation with emphasis on extensive qualitative and forensic analysis.  LEG tracks over 4,000 hedge funds with an investment team of 16 including three former hedge fund managers, and boasts one of the largest and most experienced research teams in the hedge fund industry.


LEG is owned by Liberty Group, the third largest Life Assuror in South Africa, which in turn is part of the Standard Bank Group with combined assets under management of US$48 billion and aggregate market capitalisation of US$6.3 billion


LEG offers five core services:
* Single manager hedge funds;
* Funds of hedge funds- both own product and white labeling for other Institutions;
* Traditional funds - AAAm rated Money funds, Equities and Bonds;
* Global Wealth Management Services; and
* Specialist Fund Administration


LEG is headquartered in Jersey, Channel Islands and has operations in London, Bermuda and Luxembourg.

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