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Sigma Asset Management fund of hedge funds wins industry award

The Discovery Fund, a specialist emerging markets fund of hedge funds from Sigma Asset Management in Guernsey, has received an industry award for its risk/return performance over the past 12 months.

The fund has been named best performing specialist fund of hedge funds over one year on a risk/return basis at the European Fund of Hedge Funds Awards hosted by Hedge Funds Review.

'We are naturally delighted to win the award, which reflects the levels of performance and service that we have been providing to investors,' says Sigma chairman Hugues Lamotte. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Atlas Capital Group, which provides advice on hedge fund selection.

The Discovery Fund is a cell of SAM Diversified Holdings, a Guernsey-domiciled protected cell company managed by Sigma. Launched in April 1997. An open-ended fund, it invests in hedged and directional equity and debt in emerging markets and had assets of USD188m at the end of October. It returned 33.8 per cent in 12 months to the end of September, the period for which the award was made.

'Guernsey is an attractive jurisdiction in which to base fund operations because it is renowned for its robust yet pragmatic regulatory environment, has considerable experience and expertise in a wide range of asset classes, and is at the forefront of innovations such as the PCC,' says Alex Wise, Sigma's head of legal and due diligence.

Guernsey-based service providers to the fund include administrator Close Fund Services, custodian Fortis Bank (CI), law firm Carey Olsen and auditor Deloitte & Touche (Guernsey).

Lamotte adds: 'Sigma has now operated out of Guernsey for six years and is committed to the island. We do receive investment advice from London but the management, administration and other services to our funds are physically carried out from Guernsey.'

Earlier this month the Guernsey Financial Services Commission reported that fund business in Guernsey grew GBP8.9bn (5.7 per cent) in the third quarter despite the prevailing market turbulence and by GBP44bn (36.5 per cent) over the previous 12 months, taking the total value of funds serviced in Guernsey to GBP164.5bn, including GBP24.8bn in hedge funds and funds of hedge funds domiciled in the island.

Peter Niven, chief executive of GuernseyFinance, the promotional agency for the island's financial industry, says: 'Guernsey continues to grow its reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for a whole range of funds, from the traditional to alternatives such as Sigma's fund of hedge funds, the Discovery Fund. Its success demonstrates the high quality of fund management expertise that exists on the island.'

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