James Williams, news editor, Hedgeweek

Liberty Harbor and Janus Capital International both launch credit UCITS, alternative UCITS return 0.29 per cent for September…

This week saw the launch of a new UCITS IV platform by Bryan, Garnier Asset Management (BGAM). The Bryan Garnier Umbrella Fund SICAV plc is domiciled in Malta and externally managed by Paris-based BGAM, who are regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

The first US sub-fund to join the platform is Denver-based Madison Street Partners, an equity long/short shop. BGAM aims to introduce a range of US hedge funds into the UCITS universe, with Steve Wallace, Managing Director, quoted as saying: “There continues to be a dearth of US hedge funds in the UCITS universe, especially when you look at those mangers running niche strategies with lower capacity levels which makes it [Madison Street Partners] all the more exciting to market.” 

Added Wallace: “I am very excited with commencing with Madison Street Partners and we have others due to come on board later in the year that we will announce.” Madison Street Partners was founded in 2004 and currently runs approximately USD175million. As for why they decided to choose BGAM’s new platform, Drew Hayworth, the firm’s founder and fund manager, said: “We chose Bryan Garnier's platform for its UCITS offering because of their expertise and unwavering commitment to build and grow the product. Our strategy fits very well within the UCITS platform and we are excited about partnering with Bryan Garnier to offer a US based manager to the UCITS marketplace.”
 
Alternative UCITS funds returned, on aggregate, 0.29 per cent for September to leave them up 0.98 per cent for the year according to latest figures released by Geneva-based Alix Capital, providers of the UCITS Alternative Index Global. Six of the 11 individual fund strategies generated positive returns, the most compelling of which came from those focused on emerging markets; the UAI Emerging Markets Index generated 1.78 per cent, more than twice the gains of the next best performer – UAI Long/Short Equity – which returned 0.64 per cent. Fixed Income also fared reasonably well, up 0.56 per cent. This makes it the best performing strategy, year-to-date, with gains of 3.77 per cent, closely followed by Emerging Markets, up 2.67 per cent. UAI Commodities was by far the worst performer in September, losing -2.39 per cent, to leave it down -1.74 per cent for the year, trailing just behind the UAI CTA Index, which is now down -1.85 per cent YTD having incurred further losses of -0.98 per cent last month.
 
Liberty Harbor, the credit alternatives platform established by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2007, has launched its first UCITS-compliant product in Europe reported Citywire Global this week. The Goldman Sachs Liberty Harbor Opportunistic Corporate Bond fund – a long-only corporate bond fund – will be marketed for distribution across Europe. It officially launched last month with EUR146million in assets and does not follow a benchmark. The Luxembourg-domiciled product will be managed by Liberty Harbor’s credit team, which is headed up by former Amaranth Advisors executive Sal Lentini.
 
Lentini will be lead portfolio manager on the fund and is joined by another former employee of Amaranth Advisors, Gregg Felton. Lentini was quoted as saying: “Against a background of low interest and growth rates set for the long term, we believe some of the most compelling investment opportunities today are in corporate credit – and that these opportunities can best be accessed through an opportunistic and flexible approach.”
 
In other fund launch news, Janus Capital International has launched the Global Flexible Income Fund, a Dublin-domiciled UCITS vehicle that will invest in both investment grade and high yield credit reported International Adviser. Gibson Smith, co-CIO and head of fixed income, manages the fund alongside Darrell Watters and Chris Diaz. “Our global bond fund extends the same bottom-up research process that we have used for more than two decades here in the US to the European and Asian markets,” said Smith, adding: “With our credit-oriented approach, we’re looking for companies that are going through a positive fundamental transformation of their capital structure, and thus present the best risk/reward opportunities for our clients.” 

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