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James Williams, news editor, Hedgeweek

Simmons & Simmons advises on Natixis OEIC… Crispen Odey to launch Odey Swan fund…

Crispen Odey is planning to launch a multi-asset fund – Odey Swan fund – next month, investing in equities, bonds and currencies, reported FTAdviser this week. The UCITS fund will replicate Odey Asset Management’s flagship European hedge fund and is currently awaiting approval in Ireland.

It’s the first time that retail investors will have the opportunity to invest in Odey’s long/short strategy. The fund will largely focus on developed market equities and will aim to achieve “strong absolute and relative returns” over the long term. The firm currently manages a number of UCITS funds including: the Odey Opus fund, which has a global equity portfolio; the Pan European fund, which focuses on European equities; and the Odey Allegra European and Odey Allegra International fund.   

Northern Trust has been appointed as the global custodian to the internationally invested funds of Magellan Asset Management
, which plans to launch a UCITS fund in Ireland within the next few weeks, reported Investment Operations & Custody. The new Northern assets total about USD2.5billion of the Sydney-based manager’s USD6.7 billion. They encompass the Australian managed investment schemes, a global fund and an infrastructure fund. The manager is known as MFG Asset Management in the UK and US. Northern’s other publicly disclosed fund manager client in Australia is the multi-manager QIC, for which the firm provides middle-office services. Magellan is one of only a handful of Australian-based fund managers to have successfully gathered assets for international investment. Rohan Singh, Northern’s managing director in Australia, said Magellan gained additional comfort from knowing the custodian already supported Australian clients, which had both domestic and offshore funds in Ireland.

Dexia Asset Management has introduced a wider selection of investment concepts to consolidate the competitive edge of its EUR1.3billion index arbitrage fund
, reported Citywire Global this week. Emmanuel Terraz manages the Dexia Index Arbitrage fund and has apparently developed two new concepts over the past 18 months in order to stand out from the crowd. The two concepts introduced, said Terraz, are a corporate action arbitrage strategy, and a relative action arbitrage aspect, who was quoted as saying: “We have started to introduce statistical discretionary arbitrage, which are [sic] not directly linked to index rebalancing.”

Terraz said the new concepts had so far made “a little bit of money” but added that in the next few years “this is going to be an important way to make money”. The corporate action strategy works by capturing stock price movements as a result of new share issuance. More prop traders entering the space, as well as asset management firms launching similar products, has resulted in increased competition said Terraz, who voiced concerns over potential saturation in the market. “This approach has remained a good strategy during tough times and now there is probably a little bit too much investment in arbitrage-driven funds in general. I think there is going to be a point where inflows into arbitrage strategies have to stabilize.” 

Simmons & Simmons has advised Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM)
, a multi-affiliate asset manager with some GBP454bn AUM worldwide, on the launch of NGAM Investment Funds UK ICVC, an open-ended investment company (OEIC). This will operate via NGAM SA, its Luxembourg-based authorised corporate director.
This is believed to be the first UK collective investment scheme authorised in the UK by the FSA using a non-UK management company operating under the Ucits IV passport.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by financial services partner Neil Simmonds, assisted by associate Olya Parkin. Simmonds said: “It was interesting to work on the appointment of a Luxembourg ManCo as the authorised corporate director of a UK OEIC. We believe it is the first time it has been done and it is good to see some of the opportunities provided by Ucits IV finally being used in the industry. We expect to see much more of this in future.”

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