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Fairfield Straits Lion launches Australian hedge fund

Fairfield Straits Lion Asset Management Limited (FSL) has added Australian exposure to its offerings with the launch of a new absolute return hedge fund.

The Fairfield Fortitude Australian Absolute Return Fund Ltd's investment objective is to achieve a consistent positive rate of return with an emphasis on capital preservation. The fund will employ a multi-strategy approach, which includes derivative enhancement, convergence trading, arbitrage, event-driven, and equity long/short strategies. 
The fund will be sub-advised by Fortitude Capital Pty Ltd ( Fortitude) whose well-established investment team includes Tim McGowen and John Corr, who both have extensive proprietary trading experience.  
"We have chosen Tim and John on the basis of their strong track record of delivering consistent positive returns on behalf of their investors," says FSL Board Director Peter Heng. "Their approach fits well with the investment philosophies of FSL's joint-venture partners, Lion Capital Management and Fairfield Greenwich Group." 
Tong Foo Cheong, CEO of FSL added: "We see exposure to Australia as an important ballast to the higher-volatility markets in Asia. FSL is targeting an ideal mix of strategies and geographies for its multi-manager multi-strategy fund scheduled for launch next year. This is part of our goal to select, fund, develop, and market hedge funds and related products in Asia."

Commenting on the new launch McGowen said: "We feel privileged to have FSL as investor in Fortitude Capital. Our investors know that we seek absolute returns with a disciplined risk management process across a multitude of strategies. Our management has nearly 40 years of experience in Australian equities and derivatives which enables us to provide investors with positive returns and low volatility."

McGowen has over 15 years experience in running absolute return strategies having started out by managing the proprietary trading books for some of Australia's largest institutional investment banks including ABN Amro, CS First Boston, and UBS Warburg. Most recently, prior to the management buy-out of Marshall Funds Management (now Fortitude), he managed private capital for the home office of John Marshall and subsequently won an institutional mandate from Bankers Trust Australia.  
"We are committed to searching for low risk strategies and maintaining our market-neutral bias," added John Corr, who has over 20 years of investment experience in the Australian financial markets with a specialization in equity derivatives and proprietary trading. "We are also very encouraged that such high profile investors recognize the strength of this investment philosophy."

Between 1987 and 1995, Corr worked on the derivatives sales desk for a number of major investment banks, advising and executing for local and offshore institutions. Prior to joining Fortitude, he spent eight years at Citigroup Global Markets Australia, six of those years as the Director of Proprietary Trading. 

During his time there as a proprietary trader, Corr successfully ran a profitable book in each of the eight years, and also had management responsibilities for his team of proprietary equity traders. 
Cayman-domiciled Fairfield Fortitude's minimum investment is USD 100,000. As with all of the core funds on the FGG and FSL platforms, Fairfield Fortitude will provide full portfolio transparency to the securities level to FGG and FSL to enable timely risk analysis and compliance monitoring. The Fund's administrator, auditor and prime broker are Citco, KPMG and UBS, respectively.


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