London- and New York-based fund of hedge fund manager International Asset Management has expressed its satisfaction with the inclusion for the first time of hedge funds within benchmark portfolios created by the UK's Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers.

The association recently announced a change in the Apcims Growth and Balanced portfolio indices to include for the first time a weighting of 5 per cent to hedge funds, to be implemented on June 18. IAM sees the initiative as an appropriate reflection of the importance of hedge funds in balanced and growth portfolios to deliver diversification and so aid risk management.

'We are very pleased and excited to see this development in the UK market,' says Andrew Gibson, IAM's head of client management commented. 'Hedge funds focus on delivering absolute returns and offer investors a level of diversification for their portfolios that contributes strongly to active risk management.

'IAM is committed to ensuring that clients and investors are provided with a level of education and transparency to help them understand this growing asset classification. Importantly investors should be aware of the strong benefits provided by funds of hedge funds, particularly those listed on the London Stock Exchange, such as IAM's flagship fund AIS, with daily dealing and a sterling hedged class.'

IAM is the investment manager of Alternative Investment Strategies, the first fund of hedge funds to be listed on the London exchange. AIS has posted annualised returns of 10.22 per cent since the fund's inception in December 1996, with no negative years, compared with 8.05 per cent for the MSCI World Index hedged into sterling.

Founded in 1989, International Asset Management is one of the oldest specialist hedge fund portfolio managers in Europe and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN Amro Asset Management since February 2006. IAM, which continues to specialise in creating tailored portfolios of hedge funds for institutional and individual clients, had some USD5.2bn in assets under management at the end of last year.


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