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Malta-headquartered ML Capital has this week launched the Montlake UCITS Platform Plc, a fully independent Dublin-domiciled investment platform. Rather than follow the pack, though, ML Capital will look to identify strategies different to the ones currently out there before selecting them for Montlake. “This is something we’ve been waiting for for quite a while, so the real business can start now,” says ML Capital CEO, Cyril Delamare. “We’re busy researching and analyzing appropriate managers to onboard with the first coming on line October 1st.” In terms of pipeline, ML Capital’s COO, Richard Day, explains: “Right now we have two or three managers lined up and we hope to have 10-15 managers on Montlake over the next six to 24 months.”

Key service providers on the platform will include Citi for custodian, trustee and administration services, KPMG for auditing as well as an array of leading prime brokerages. Delamare says that they’re looking beyond Europe to connect investors to investment managers, stressing the point that Montlake is a UCITS distribution platform rather than a hosting platform. “We’re spending a lot of time speaking to US managers, as well as those in emerging markets and Latin America. Pan-Asia L/S and Northern Asia (Japan, China, Korea) event driven strategies will be considered, depending on liquidity.” To which, Day adds that only those strategies that fit into the spirit of the rules under which UCITS operates will be onboarded: “A lot of strategies can be put into a UCITS wrapper but a lot can’t, particularly regarding liquidity rules. For us it’s all about strategy diversification and giving our investors what they want. At the moment, there is strong demand for Macro and CTA/managed futures managers.” Funds chosen for Montlake will typically take six to eight weeks to get to market. 

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