UK hedge fund giant, Man Group, has announced the launch of its latest UCITS III offering; the Man Long/Short Europe. “We seeded it a couple of months ago,” says Mark Chambers (pictured), Head of Sales Management Europe. “Current AUM is EUR15 million. Given that this is a new open-ended fund a lot of investors will simply wait and see how it goes over the next couple of months so it’s likely to be a slow burner.” Excitement is sure to be generated amongst investors with news that the fund is to be managed by the firm’s award-winning equity team, headed up by Robin Lowe. Unlike other equity UCITS fund of funds, Man L/S Europe will invest in the full universe of European L/S fund managers, including those offshore, giving investors unprecedented exposure to over 300 funds, as opposed to being restricted to those that are UCITS-compliant. Commenting on the fund’s flexibility, Chambers says: “If you’re buying in to Robin Lowe you don’t want to be constrained; Robin will be able to select any European L/S manger. Individual managers do not need to be UCITS compliant. The only constraint is going to be assets.” The portfolio will include eight to 12 managers. Fundamental top-down and bottom-up analysis will be performed to ensure that only the very best managers are selected, covering balanced, active and thematic investment strategies. Chambers points out that being able to offer investors a substituted equity offering is important: “Taking a portion of your long fund and diversifying into equity L/S is attractive. This latest UCITS will be as high quality onshore as it is offshore.” Chambers expects the fund to deliver net annualized returns of 6.5 – 7 per cent with a similar level of volatility. Man Group CEO, Peter Clarke, said this week that the firm now has USD450 million in UCITS strategies.

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