Acropole Asset Management launches long/short convertibles fund

Acropole Asset Management, a Paris-based specialist convertible bond manager launched 18 months ago and now with EUR600m in assets under management, has extended its range of products with its second alternative fund, Acropole Convertibles Alpha.

The new fund, to be launched on January 17 with EUR50m in assets under management, is a French Aria EL (Agréé à Règles d'Investissement Allégées, à Effet de Levier) vehicle, which is authorised to operate under less constrained investment rules and to use leverage.

The firm's existing product range consists of one alternative fund, Acropole Convertibles Arbitrage, two long-only funds, Acropole Convertibles Europe and Acropole Convertibles Monde, and two dedicated funds.

According to Acropole, the launch of the Convertibles Alpha fund reflects its desire to focus on cross-fertilisation between its long-only and alternative activities, which has been part of its investment philosophy since the company's launch.

The new fund follows a long/short strategy and will replicate the fund manager's existing choices in terms of global convertible bonds. The risks will be hedged by selling futures on bonds and equities. Leverage up to a maximum of four times can be used.

Acropole says the new fund will offer two complementary sources of performance through stock picking and convexity. Its goal is to achieve a significant performance regardless of the market environment.

Acropole Convertibles Alpha is targeting institutional investors, as well as private banks, and funds of funds, notably on the hedge side, that are seeking a high level of uncorrelated performance. Since its launch in July, the Acropole Convertibles Arbitrage fund has already reached EUR136m in assets.

Founded by Jacques Joakimides, Emmanuel Martin, Nathalie Sabathier and Hubert Lemoine, who own 51 per cent of the firm, Acropole is the first asset management company in France to focus fully on convertible bonds. The other shareholders are London-based hedge fund manager Cheyne Capital (33.5 per cent), UFG Investment Managers, part of the Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe group (14.5 per cent) and mutual insurer Matmut (1 per cent).

Acropole, which serves institutional investors, including insurance companies and pension funds, private banking and retail clients and funds of funds, is targeting EUR800m in asset under management by the end of this year.

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