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The Hedgeweek Interview: Hillary Duckworth, chief investment officer, Mukwa Fund: Unearthing opportunities in Africa

The Hedgeweek Interview: Hillary Duckworth, chief investment officer, Mukwa Fund: Unearthing opportunities in Africa

Hillary Duckworth outlines the outlook and opportunities for Mukwa Fund in sub-Saharan Africa.

HW: What is the background to your fund?

HB: Mukwa Fund was launched in April 2005. It is a fundamental fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa. I am chief investment officer and Hawkwood Fund Management is the fund manager. The fund is up 68 per cent to the end of November 2006.

HW: Who are your service providers?

HB: BDO are the accountants, Claire Cummings is the lawyer, Jersey Trust Company is the fund administrator and Amara is the prime broker.

HW: What is your client profile?

HB: High net worth individuals and institutions in the UK and US.

HW: On what do base your investment process?

HB: It is based on fundamental research and a network of contacts in the region established over more than 15 years.

HW: What steps have you taken to mitigate risk?

HB: Ours is a diversified fund with close attention paid to risk. The partners have seeded more than 40 per cent of the fund.

HW: How has the fund performed so far?

HB: Our objective is to double invested monies over three years. The actual performance to date has exceeded this and the outlook remains very promising.

HW: What opportunities are you currently looking at?
HB: Current opportunities include real estate in Lusaka, Zambia, a regional telecoms company and a building society in Zambia. The fund is raising further money in January.

HW: What is the outlook for the sub-Saharan region?

HB: We expect the region in general and Zambia in particular to continue to see the economic benefits of high commodity prices and debt reduction programmes.

HW: How do you differentiate yourself from other managers?

HB: Hawkwood Fund Management benefits from having its managers on the ground in the region, where they have been working for many years. It is a general fund investing in real estate, private equity and listed equities.

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