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Harcourt Investment Consulting has launched Belmont (Lux) Asset Based Lending, a fund of funds invested in pure asset-based lending strategies. The fund has been developed in co-operation with IST Investmentstiftung für Personalvorsorge to meet the needs of conservative institutional clients, such as pension funds, by applying strict investment guidelines for the underlying funds; the use of derivatives and shorting is excluded, and leverage is limited to 10 per cent.

With broad diversification across various asset-based lending sub-strategies, Belmont (Lux) Asset Based Lending seeks to offers a stable return profile with insignificant correlation to equity and fixed income markets.

The fund is targeting an annualised return of 250 basis points above Libor net of fees, with 2.5 per cent annualised volatility. Harcourt says risk is minimised through careful bottom-up manager selection and a top-down focus on strategies that should perform well in recessionary or expansionary environments.

Harcourt has been active in asset-based lending investment for several years. The firm says the launch of the new fund is a further step in the evolution of its asset-based lending product offering and the first step in a co-operative venture with IST Investmentstiftung für Personalvorsorge, Switzerland's largest independent investment foundation.

Founded in 1997 and majority-owned by Swiss private bank Vontobel Group, Harcourt is a provider of alternative investment solutions for institutional investors with headquarters in Zurich and offices in New York, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Madrid, Geneva and the Cayman Islands. The company manages USD5.5bn, exclusively in alternative investments, and employs a staff of 90 professionals.

IST Investmentstiftung für Personalvorsorge was founded some 40 years ago and is the oldest investment foundation in Switzerland, managing some CHF6.5bn exclusively for Swiss pension funds.

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