Amber Capital has launched Amber Equity Fund – a UCITS version of the Amber Italia Equity Fund – on the Alpha UCITS platform.
The Amber Equity Fund is managed by Amber Capital Italia SGR, a Milan based asset management company regulated by the Bank of Italy. The company was established by Joseph Oughourlian, founder of the Amber Capital Group, the investment firm founded in 2001 with main offices in London and New York.
The Amber Italia Equity fund, incorporated in Italy as an approved domestic fund almost four years ago, was already managed by Giorgio Martorelli, portfolio manager of Amber Capital Italia, according to rules very similar to those of a UCITS fund.
The Amber Italia Equity fund’s cumulative performance since inception in November 2009 has been +21.94 per cent, compared to a FTSE MIB Index performance over the same period of -26.13 per cent (as of 31 August 2013), with a worst month of -2.47 per cent, a volatility below five per cent and a net exposure to equity markets close to zero. The fund is up 10.41 per cent YTD as of 31 August 2013.
Most existing investors in the Amber Italia Equity fund, all Italian institutional investors and management of the Amber Group, have subscribed to the new Luxembourg UCITS Amber Equity Fund. Consequently, the UCITS fund should have about USD80m AUM at the end of its ramp-up period.
The Amber Equity Fund aims at returning consistent absolute returns by investing on a long/short basis primarily in European equities, with a focus on Italian investments. The fund is using a fundamental value and bottom-up approach. The investment strategies employed may encompass, among other things, any or all of the following strategies: directional long or short positions with or without a catalyst; long/short equity pairs with or without a catalyst; capital structure arbitrage; risk arbitrage; share class arbitrage; company holding discounts; and relative- and fundamental-value.
Amber believes that launching a UCITS fund will provide the opportunity to raise further assets, not just in Italy but in Europe and in the rest of the world as well. The target remains professional institutional investors. Amber Capital Italia SGR will be the distributor for the fund and intends to file with CONSOB (through the CSSF) the notification to offer the shares of the fund in Italy and eventually to passport it in other European countries. The aim is to grow the fund from about USD80m to USD150m in the following six months and to USD250m in the following 18 to 24 months.
Oughourlian says: “I am very proud of the launch of the Amber Equity Fund as it further strengthens our commitment to Italy, a country in which we strongly believe and where we have been present for many years. We are also confident that transforming the Amber Italia Equity fund into a UCITS fund will widen our investor base.”
Alpha UCITS is a London based company founded in 2009 by Stephane Diederich, formerly a partner at Brevan Howard Asset Management. Alpha UCITS is a specialised structuring and distribution platform for UCITS funds launched by blue chip hedge fund managers.
Diederich says: “Amber Capital organised a very thorough due diligence on most established UCITS platforms in order to launch its first UCITS fund and we are very excited that Amber Capital has chosen Alpha UCITS as its partner. The Amber Equity Fund is quite unique and will expand the current UCITS product offering. “