F&C launches systematic European long/short trading hedge fund

F&C Alternative Investments, the single strategy hedge fund division of F&C Asset Management, has expanded its range of products with the launch of F&C Zircon, a systematic European long/short equity trading fund.

F&C Zircon is the third new hedge fund from F&C in 12 months following the launches of the F&C Tourmaline Fund, a fixed-income strategy, and the F&C Garnet Fund, a forex volatility and forward-rate bias trading fund.

The F&C Zircon Fund is co-managed by Darren Jordan and Phil Robinson who have worked together for 10 years. The team joined F&C Alternative Investments last summer after four years running a partnership that developed and traded a similar systematic strategy to F&C Zircon.

Previously Jordan and Robinson ran a four-strong pan-European equity proprietary trading desk at ABN Amro that focused on special situations and long/short trading. Both began their careers at HSBC Investment Bank, where Robinson spent five years in equity derivative sales before working on a market neutral hedge fund and Jordan spent 12 years gaining experience in equity and fixed-income derivatives on a sales trading desk.

Investing within the Euro First 300 Index, F&C Zircon has a particular emphasis on the statistical arbitrage of pairs of stocks, taking long and short positions on two stocks in the same sector to create a diversified portfolio of long and short positions and try to capture excessive and unwarranted short-term dispersions between pairs of stocks.

Trade signals are generated by a proprietary model developed by the team overlaid by disciplined risk parameters and a liquidity screen to keep the focus on large and mid-cap stocks.

The F&C Zircon Fund, which has a minimum investment level of EUR500,000, has euro and US dollar share classes and is targeted primarily at institutional investors including funds of hedge funds. The fund is domiciled in the Cayman Islands and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

F&C Asset Management Group is a London Stock Exchange-listed asset manager majority owned by insurer Friends Provident. F&C managed GBP103.5bn at the end of September for institutional, insurance and retail clients and has offices in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and US.

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