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Augustus Asset Managers launches first pure currency product

Augustus Asset Managers, the London-based fixed-income manager formerly known as Julius Baer Investments, is drawing on its experience in the currency markets since 1983 to launch its first pure currency product, the JB Currency Hedge Fund, whose name reflects the continuing strong relationship between Augustus and Julius Baer Holding.

The JB Currency Hedge Fund will use both discretionary and systematic currency techniques to provide maximum diversification. Adrian Owens, who will manage the discretionary portion of the fund, and Mark Dragten, who will manage the systematic element, have a proven track record and more than 18 years' combined experience in the currency markets.

Says Owens: 'Diversification is essential when attempting to generate returns from the currency markets. Combining the discretionary and systematic models provides diversification through process, trade durations, country focus, money management and products.' The fund aims to deliver returns of between 7 and 10 per cent above Libor per annum.

'A product that is capable of delivering double digit returns but has a low correlation with equities is potentially a very attractive addition to an investor's portfolio especially in the current environment,' says Augustus chief executive and chief investment officer Tim Haywood. 'We believe that this product has the potential to meet this need. We look forward to working with our former parent on this as well as other products and funds.'

Augustus Asset Managers, which focuses on fixed income and currency investments and is skilled in both relative and absolute return management, had total assets under management of around USD8bn at the end of May in long only funds, hedge funds and absolute return funds, offering products across the risk spectrum.

The firm, which won its independence from Julius Baer in a management earn-out deal announced in January, has been managing fixed-income portfolios for 23 years, predating the establishment of the Citigroup World Government Bond Index. Augustus employs 48 people, including 16 investment professionals.

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