James Williams, Hedgeweek

Aquila Capital hires new senior fund manager… Polar Capital prepares to launch global convertible bond UCITS…

Polar Capital is preparing to launch a convertible bond fund reported FTadviser this week. The Polar Capital Global Convertibles fund will be domiciled in Dublin, subject to regulatory approval, and is to be managed by David Keetley and Steve McCormick.

Both Keetley and McCormick co-manage the USD40million Polar Capital ALVA Global Convertible hedge fund, a Cayman vehicle that launched in November 2010 and which has delivered 10.7 per cent returns in the last 12 months.

The UCITS fund will have a long bias and aims to deliver equity-like returns as well as income by investing in convertible bonds. The yield target is expected to be in excess of 3 per cent. Keetley was quoted as saying: “The idea came about through client demand as they look to move away from the bond market, and gain exposure to convertibles instead. The fund will have higher volatility and more return potential than the existing vehicle.” 
 
The second quarter was not exactly one to cheer about for CTAs. Assets in managed futures UCITS shrank by 14.3 per cent in Q2 according to a sector review by Alceda Fund Management, reported CTAintelligence. Overall AuM in the sector dropped from USD4.6billion to USD4billion on the back of sluggish performance, which ended the quarter down -3.79 per cent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has led to consolidation within the sector, where the number of funds has fallen to 23. At the end of June, Cantab Capital’s UCITS fund, which had more than USD320million in AuM and which tracked the firm’s flagship CCP Quantitative Fund, shut down because the firm’s principals, Ewan Kirk and Erich Schlaikjer said it was no longer possible to invest in commodities “within a Ucits wrapper”.    
 
Alceda noted that June was a challenging month for managed futures UCITS because of the unwinding of carry trades and the long equity trend reversing. “For many funds short exposure to precious and industrial metals was the main contributor to performance, and there was a marked performance differential between funds with and without commodity exposure,” said Alceda in the report.
 
There are no more than 100 ETFs tracking a FTSE benchmark in North America reported ETFexpress this week, following the launch of Emerging Global Advisors’ EGShares EM Dividend High Income ETF (EMHD)on NYSE Arca. The new fund tracks the FTSE Equal Weighted Emerging All Cap ex Taiwan Diversified Dividend Yield 50 Index. It follows the recent launch of two equity ETFs with Vanguard Investments Canada for which FTSE has licensed two indices: FTSE Canada All Cap Index and FTSE Developed ex North America Index. In total, 11 ETF issuers in North America offer 102 products tracking FTSE’s equity, fixed income, real estate, yield and alternative weighted indices.
 
Jonathan Horton, president of FTSE Americas and head of FTSE’s ETP service unit, said they were delighted to have reached “this important milestone” as it underscores FTSE’s position as a leading global provider of tradable benchmarks.
 
“By emphasising representativeness and tradability at the point of index construction and on-going high standards of governance and transparency, FTSE is well positioned to continue to deliver innovative index solutions which underpin the next generation of ETFs,” said Horton.
 
Aquila Capital has announced the appointment of Dorothee Goerz as senior fund manager. Goerz will be based at Aquila Capital’s office in London and brings more than 12 years’ experience in value and event-driven investing to the table, with a particular focus on European mid- to large-cap stocks. Goerz will be responsible to overseeing the launch of a new Aquila Capital value and event-driven fund strategy this autumn for which she will act as lead fund manager. Most recently, Goerz worked as a portfolio manager at Aremus Partners, a hedge fund advisory group, prior to which she worked as a portfolio manager for the pan-European long/short equity investment portfolio at Lombard Odier.
 
Commenting on the hire of Ms Goerz, Roman Rosslenbroich, CEO at Aquila Capital said: “We consistently seek to identify and bring onboard alternative investment managers whose strategies offer significant potential to deliver sustainable absolute returns. Dorothee’s outstanding experience and in-depth industry knowledge means she is an invaluable addition to the Aquila Capital team. Her proven track record in value and event driven equity investing ideally complements our existing product proposition.”

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