BDO Stoy Hayward's Fitzwilliam Growth Fund ranked top among funds of hedge funds

Fitzwilliam Growth Fund, a fund of hedge funds provided by UK specialist wealth adviser BDO Stoy Hayward Investment Management, has been ranked the best performing fund of hedge funds over the year to August and over three years by the CAPS Pooled Pension Fund update.

The Fitzwilliam Growth Fund, part of a range that also includes the Fitzwilliam Commodities Plus Fund and the Fitzwilliam Balanced Fund, returned 10.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of August and an annualised return of 16.9 per cent over three years.

The CAPS Pooled Pension Fund survey, conducted by Mellon Analytical Solutions, is billed as the largest and most representative sample of funds available to UK pension fund trustees. Mellon Analytical Solutions currently covers 77 asset managers who manage more than GBP449bn in balanced and specialist pooled funds.

The Fitzwilliam Growth Fund is a diversified fund of hedge funds launched in 2003 with GBP46.2m under management. It aims to provide a total return of 15 per cent while minimising volatility and incorporating strategies including relative value, event driven, and opportunistic. Currently the fund has 33 underlying holdings.

The fund seeks to provide investors with returns that are not correlated with traditional asset classes and to offer exposure to strategies and managers that are not normally available to most investors due to their high minimum investment level.

The Fitzwilliam Commodities Plus Fund is one of the few funds of commodities hedge funds available to sterling investors, returning 17.9 per cent over the past 12 months and 24.3 per cent since its launch in February 2006. The Fitzwilliam Balanced Fund is designed for more conservative investors and has returned 5 per cent over the past 12 months.

Jeremy Charlesworth, manager of the Fitzwilliam Growth Fund, says: 'The independent ranking of the Fitzwilliam Growth Fund is a rewarding and great step for us as it proves our strong performance against our peers. This is also the first truly external recognition of the fund, since it was previously only available to clients of BDO.'

Shaun Port, chief investment officer at BDO Stoy Hayward Investment Management, adds: 'Our objective is always to deliver strong returns in any market. We are delighted to come out number one in this survey, despite the extreme market volatility in August. I believe that what sets us apart is our ability to find interesting opportunities and talented managers across the world. We expect to deliver good results through into 2008.'

BDO Stoy Hayward Investment Management is an independent financial adviser with more than 200 employees at offices throughout the UK. The firm is the wealth management arm of BDO Stoy Hayward, the UK member firm of BDO International, the world's fifth largest accountancy network with more than 600 offices in 100 countries.

The current portfolio breakdown of the Fitzwilliam Growth Fund is equity long/short (40.1 per cent), merger arbitrage (22.3 per cent), CTA and managed futures (17 per cent), global macro (10.9 per cent), distressed and opportunistic (3 per cent), equity market neutral (2.3 per cent) and other (4.4 per cent).

The minimum investment in the fund, which is domiciled in Guernsey, is GBP10,000 or its equivalent in US dollars. There is an annual management fee of 1.25 per cent and an incentive fee of 10 per cent on returns above a hurdle of 5 per cent, but no lock-up.

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