Barclays and Fortune offer retail hedge fund product

London-based Fortune Asset Management is to offer a GBP 7,000 minimum investment Barclays Bank hedge fund plan aimed at UK retail investors.


The Barclays Market Wizards Protected Plan will be linked to the performance of the original Market Wizards Fund, which invests in a portfolio of some of the world's leading hedge funds and is managed by 'legendary' hedge fund investor, Jack D Schwager and the Fortune Asset Management investment team.


Awarded an AA rating from Standard & Poors in 2005, the Market Wizards Fund is a blend of over 30 uncorrelated hedge fund investments providing the investor with a single, thoroughly researched, and constantly monitored investment portfolio, designed to deliver positive returns in all market environments. The Barclays 'Market Wizards' Protected Plan seeks to replicate the characteristics of the original Market Wizards Fund, which was launched in November 2001 by Fortune Asset Management.


This innovative, tax-efficient Plan will be offered in the form of a protected note issued by Barclays Bank Plc, an AA-rated UK bank. The Plan is designed to enable investors to enjoy an initial 100 per cent participation in the note, yet also be able to redeem the investment at 80 per cent of the highest ever fund price. It will be available through qualifying intermediaries and wealth managers.


"The Plan will use an actively constructed investment process, drawing on the outstanding skills set of Jack and his team at Fortune," said Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Fortune Asset Management. "The unfettered nature of the plan demonstrates to investors that Fortune has the freedom to invest in the most attractive hedge funds worldwide in a product designed to offer positive returns in all market environments, a process that has earned Fortune a AA rating from Standard and Poors.


"Access to hedge funds has until now been the preserve of institutional investors or via listed closed end vehicles with very high built-in fees, and we expect strong interest for this cost-effective route from IFAs, wealth managers and discerning UK investors," he added.


The Plan marks a departure from the perception that investing in hedge funds must always be expensive. The price protection offered on the Plan varies from the typical form of capital protection that in most cases only kicks in if you remain invested for the full duration of the product. The Barclays 'Market Wizards' Protected Plan will be redeemable each month without any penalty. The Plan will qualify for capital gains tax treatment and taper relief in the UK and is a qualifying investment for pension funds. Its target returns, net of all charges, are Bank of England base rate plus 4 per cent.


The Plan will have a GBP 7,000 minimum investment requirement and be ISA and PEP-friendly, for both new monies and transfers.


Background notes: London-based Fortune Asset Management has been researching and monitoring hedge funds since 1996 for institutional investors, private banks and ultra high net worth individuals.


 


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