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James Williams, Hedgeweek

UCITS funds end August down 0.40 per cent… Algebris Investments & Pioneer Investments both launch new funds…

The UCITS Alternative Index Global lost -0.40 per cent in August to leave it up 1.34 per cent on a year-to-date basis. By comparison the average hedge fund has returned 4.63 per cent (through July) according to Hedge Fund Research.

In many respects August was a sea of red in terms of strategy performance. Only two of 11 UAI strategies made gains, and even these were minimal: +0.63 per cent for UAI Commodities (still down -1.34 per cent YTD) and UAI Event-Driven, up +0.09 per cent (up +1.84 per cent YTD). The worst performing index was UAI CTA, down -1.42 per cent after having also incurred losses of -0.45 per cent in July. Despite ending August down -0.39 per cent, UAI Long/Short Equity is still far and away this year’s best performing strategy, up +5.27 per cent. Through August, five of the 11 strategies were in positive territory, including UAI Event-Driven (+1.84 per cent) and UAI Multi-Strategy (+1.50 per cent).  
Algebris Investments has launched its second long-only UCITS fund after it launched the Financial Credit UCITS fund. The fund will invest globally in stocks and bonds. Two years ago Algebris launched the MS Algebris Global Financials UCITS fund on Morgan Stanley’s FundLogic Alternatives platform. The new Algebris Financials Income Fund will assign half of the portfolio’s assets to stocks, and half in subordinated security bonds including contingent convertible bonds (Coco). Performance-wise, the fund targets total returns of 8 to 10 per cent from which 6 to 7 per cent will be derived from annual dividend yields and 3 per cent from capital gains. Algebris CEO Davide Serra was quoted as saying that it was “a great time to invest in the financials sector”, adding that many markets will significantly benefit from the rise of interest rates “in the next three to five years”.
In other fund launch news, Pioneer Investments has launched a UCITS-compliant version of its team-managed Dynamic Credit fund reported Citywire Global this week. The Luxembourg-domiciled fund is the onshore equivalent of an existing USD366million fund, which targeted US investors in April 2011. Andrew Feltus, director of fixed income credit research, Michael Temple and Chin Liu are co-managers on the fund. Feltus currently manages the Lux-domiciled Pioneer Funds Global High Yield fund, and also co-manages two other Lux vehicles; the Pioneer Funds US High Yield fund with Tracy Wright and the Pioneer Funds Strategic Income fund with Ken Taubes.
The new fund will invest in investment grade and sub-investment grade debt from both sovereign and corporate issuers. It will hedge risk using a three-layered approach: emergency hedges, employed during periods of extreme volatility; dynamic hedges, employed to adjust to market conditions, and diversification by choosing investments across credit quality and duration.
Princeton Financial® Systems, a part of State Street Global Exchange, has announced the launch of the latest enhancements to MIG21, its market-leading investment compliance and risk monitoring solution, with specific functionality to address upcoming UCITS regulatory changes.
MIG21 7.4 improves asset reclassification, which is now integrated as a standard function and significantly increases the speed and performance of calculating global exposures. The latest version also provides improvements in the user interface with a range of new administrative features. For example, users can now export mapping configurations to facilitate analysis, documentation and archiving and the memo function has been expanded, improving compliance breach communications.
“We continuously work to monitor and anticipate the impact of the constant influx of regulatory updates on our customers' needs in order to provide them with the best solutions to support their business priorities," said Ronald Knecht, product director and vice president at Princeton Financial Systems. "MIG21 7.4 provides our customers with mission critical tools and functionality to more efficiently and effectively manage their compliance."
MIG21 is the compliance system of choice for seven of the world's ten largest global custodians, as well as many asset and fund managers, insurance companies and hedge funds in all parts of the world. MIG21 optimizes and automates pre-trade and post-trade investment compliance checking, and improves the administration of regulatory, prospectus and internal investment guidelines and resolution workflows. 

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