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Morgan Stanley announces strategic partnership with Longchamp Asset Management and La Française AM… Schroder GAIA platform onboards the GAIA Avoca Credit fund

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Morgan Stanley this week announced a partnership with Longchamp Asset Management, a French-based asset manager that specializes in the distribution of UCITS hedge funds, and La Française AM, a multi-specialist asset manager with a 10-year track record in alternative investments. 

The collaboration between all three firms will see them leveraging their respective expertise to provide investors with access to new alternative UCITS sub-funds through a joint selection and seeding arrangement with La Française AM. Three funds have already been jointly selected and seeded by La Française AM under the partnership: the MS Turner Spectrum UCITS fund, the MS Dalton Asia Pacific UCITS fund and the MS TCW Unconstrained Plus Bond fund (as reported in last week’s newsletter).
Stephane Berthet, Head of the FundLogic Alternatives platform at Morgan Stanley said that the collaboration provided the bank with the opportunity to expand its product range and offer investors access to a diverse range of strategies. “We are looking forward to this unique partnership and the benefits it can ultimately offer to our investors,” said Berthet.
Patrick Riviere, Managing Director of La Française AM, commented: “Today we continue to believe in alternative investments as a perfect solution for investors as long as you can provide them with transparency, liquidity, and an attractive pricing. It’s exactly the aim of this partnership where La Française, alongside Morgan Stanley, is part of a seeding program. Within this strategic partnership La Française will be able to effectively leverage its competence and offer a new generation of alternative investments to its clients.”
Schroders has launched the externally managed Schroder GAIA Avoca Credit fund on Schroder GAIA, the firm’s dedicated alternative UCITS platform. The fund is a fundamental credit long/short fund and is scheduled to launch in November 2013. Simon Thorp and James Sclater from Avoca Capital Management LLP will manage the fund. Avoca’s existing UCITS fund, the Avoca Credit Absolute Return fund will merge into Schroder GAIA Avoca Credit at launch.
The fund will focus predominantly on European corporate credits and financials and will aim to target annualized returns of 7 to 10 per cent net of fees. It will invest across the full credit spectrum using instruments such as corporate bonds, CDS, credit indices, investment grade and high yield index options, as well as sovereign debt.
Simon Thorp, CEO of Avoca Capital Management LLP said: “Having successfully managed this strategy for over a decade, we are excited to be able to offer it to a wider audience via the Schroder GAIA distribution network. We are currently seeing a strong investment case and wealth of alpha opportunities within the long/short credit space as we enter the mature part of the credit cycle and an upturn in the interest rate cycle.”
Eric Bertrand, Director of Schroder GAIA, added: “We are constantly on the lookout for high-quality hedge fund managers to join our Schroder GAIA platform and believe that Avoca’s credit long/short strategy will be a complementary.”  
Dragon Capital has launched the first actively managed Vietnam Equity UCITS fund. Dragon Capital, one of the largest investment firms in Indochina, was founded in 1994 and has two decades of investing experience in Vietnam.
The fund’s objective is to generate medium to long-term capital growth by investing primarily in equities issued by Vietnamese companies whose shares trade on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, or in other listed companies with substantial exposure to the country. The fund also has leeway to allocate a small portion of its portfolio to Vietnamese sovereign or corporate bonds.
Over the last 12 months the Vietnam Index has risen by just over 23 per cent buoyed by solid export figures and positive economic policies. The open-ended fund will focus primarily on private bank clients and wealth managers.
Dominic Scriven, CEO and Co-Founder of Dragon Capital was quoted as saying: “International investors are continuing to look further afield in their search for growth and we firmly believe that the Vietnam Equity UCITS Fund will provide investors with a compelling mix of strong returns and an opportunity to diversify their risk, overseen by an all female board with close to 50 years combined experience in the fund industry. We are confident that this new fund will be particularly attractive to investors in Europe and Asia due to the regulated structures and comprehensive risk framework that UCITS offers.”

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