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Mark Farrington, portfolio manager and Head of Macro Currency Group

Macro Currency Group launches first ever Alpha/Beta split currency fund

Macro Currency Group, the specialist currency investment boutique of global asset management firm Principal Global Investors, has launched the Principal Global Investors Funds Multi Strategy Currency Fund, (the Fund), a Dublin-registered, UCITS-compliant vehicle.

Managed by Mark Farrington (pictured) and Dr Ivan Petej, the Fund is available to a broader cross section of investors given its UCITS wrapper and is a sign of the growing acceptance amongst investors as to the benefits of currency as a primary portfolio component.

The Fund marks the first time a currency vehicle has combined independent alpha and beta income streams in one product offering. Designed to reduce the asset allocation burden on investors looking to allocate across strategies and styles, the Fund offers investors a consistent, uncorrelated source of alpha whilst smoothing volatility and maximising risk-adjusted returns.

Farrington, portfolio manager and Head of Macro Currency Group, says: “In recent years we have seen a shift towards ETFs designed to capture certain segments or themes of the market. This has placed the burden on investors to make multiple asset allocation decisions, something that not all investors are confident doing. The Multi Strategy Currency Fund has been launched with the intention that clients are able to make a single allocation to enhance their portfolios, accessing diversification across multiple factors within one vehicle.”

“Having managed currency portfolios for over seventeen years, our experience indicates that this is the optimal strategy for the environment that investors face. Combining our successful fundamental discretionary approach with a transparent, straightforward and effective systematic currency beta strategy, the Fund has been designed to provide clients with style and time diversification, the result being a stable, positive return stream regardless of the prevailing investment environment. This fund is additive to the industry and should mark the beginning of offerings that reduce the requirement on investors to make difficult investment style decisions.”

The Macro Currency Group’s funds are performing strongly in a tough market, with the Group’s flagship Principal Global Opportunities Series Macro Currency Fund ending 2011 up 19.7% and its three year return up to 7.8% (annualised). The new fund draws upon the strong fundamentally focused investment process that the Group has generated over the last 17 years, while affirming the research begun 6 years ago on what constitutes the most intelligent way to capture fundamental, pro-cyclical beta in the currency market.

Commenting on the fund launch, Nick Lyster, European CEO of Principal Global Investors, says: “As a firm we have been very vocal about how responsible financial innovation can drive the asset management industry forward. This fund is evidence of innovation at work to fulfill a market need, whilst also highlighting the ongoing success of our multi boutique strategy, which is going from strength to strength in Europe.”

The Macro Currency Group is a traditional, fundamental currency and macro manager, with a forward looking investment style, which is generally uncorrelated to both a general currency manager universe, as well as within its fundamental peer group. It offers leveraged and unleveraged alpha and overlay strategies, with a track record built on a dynamic fundamental investment process with disciplined money management skills.

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