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Syz & Co to launch two funds of hedge funds in Spain

Swiss banking group Syz & Co and Madrid-based asset manager A&G Fondos, Asesores y Gestores Financieros Fondos, have announced the imminent launch of two Spanish-regulated funds of hedge funds, joining the first institutions to benefit from new Spanish legislation authorising the marketing of alternative investment funds.

The two funds, AYG Syz Multi Strategy and AYG Syz Low Volatility, are expected to be approved in the coming weeks by the CNMV, the Spanish securities regulator.

The new regulations on funds of hedge funds require the fund manager to be a Spanish entity holding a specific licence, so A&G will act as manager of the funds and be in charge of their marketing in Spain. Syz & Co, which has more than 11 years of experience in managing funds of hedge funds through its alternative management division, 3A, will advise A&G.

The AYG Syz Multi Strategy fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of hedge funds, combining different strategies such as long-short equity, arbitrage, global macro, market neutral, managed futures and CTA, to obtain steady performance and act as a diversification tool for traditional portfolios through its low correlation with major financial markets.

In Switzerland, 3A manages Altin, an alternative investment company launched in December 1996 with a similar profile, which has obtained a total return in US dollars of 185.99 per cent, with an annualised return of 10.58 per cent and volatility of 6.95 per cent. By comparison, the MSCI World Index registered a return of 90.82 per cent over the same period, or 6.38 per cent in annualised terms.

The AYG Syz Low Volatility fund will also invest in a diversified portfolio of hedge funds, but concentrating on less volatile strategies to offer a steadier potential return with a lower risk level.

The two funds will be euro-denominated, with a minimum investment of EUR100. AYG Syz Multi Strategy will be rebalanced monthly, while AYG Syz Low Volatility will be rebalanced quarterly.

Annual management charges will be 1.5 per cent for both funds, with performance fees of 8 per cent and 5 per cent for the multi strategy and low volatility funds respectively.
A&G will market these products directly to its own clients and through other entities or fund distribution platforms.

Through this non-exclusive management agreement, Syz & Co is taking a first step to develop its alternative asset management services in the Spanish market. It also intends to offer its services to institutional investors through direct mandates to manage hedge fund portfolios.

Founded in 1996 by Eric Syz, Alfredo Piacentini and Paolo Luban, Syz & Co focuses exclusively on asset management, with 235 employees and assets under management totalling CHF15.4bn. The bank has its headquarters in Geneva, Swiss offices in Zurich, Lugano and Locarno, and a presence in Milan, Rome, London, Luxembourg, Salzburg and Nassau.

3A is the investment manager for a number of funds of hedge funds including London- and Zurich-listed Altin and Alternative Capital Enhancement, and manages alternative products for institutional investors. It oversees CHF8.5bn (EUR5.3bn) in hedge fund investments for its parent group, including CHF3bn (EUR1.9bn) in funds of hedge funds.

Founded in 1987, Asesores y Gestores Financieros focuses on managing large private fortunes, launched a brokerage arm in 1989, and subsequently extended its services to the institutional market. Since June 2000, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise has held 50 per cent of the group's capital. At the end of April, A&G Fondos SGIIC managed a total of EUR337m, out of EUR2.9bn managed by the entire group.

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