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VAM Funds launches Accessible Clean Energy fund… Alternative UCITS make gains of +0.75 per cent for May…

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Alternative UCITS funds returned 0.75 per cent on average in May according to the latest figures released by Alix Capital, provider of the UCITS Alternative Index Global. Every strategy, with the exception of volatility, produced positive returns. 

The best performing funds were CTAs, gaining 2.34 per cent, followed by Emerging Markets (up 1.80 per cent) and Multi-Strategy (up 1.02 per cent). Despite making modest gains of 0.39 per cent, Fixed Income funds are the strongest performers on a YTD basis, up 1.45 per cent, followed by Long/Short Equity and Multi-Strategy funds, up 1.16 per cent and 1.05 per cent respectively. Funds of Funds advanced by 0.44 per cent in May and are up slightly for the year (+0.21 per cent). FX funds are the biggest laggards for 2014, down 0.78 per cent on a YTD basis.
This week Mirabaud Asset Management Ltd launched its Global Equity High Income Fund with assets in excess of USD25m, following a six-month incubation period. It will be a sub-fund of the Mirabaud Luxembourg SICAV.
Kirill Pyshkin, who joined Mirabaud earlier this year from Aviva Investors, will manage the fund.
The Fund aims to deliver attractive and growing income from dividends, at least 25 per cent higher than that available on the broad equity market, with potential for capital appreciation. Pyshkin intends to achieve this in a well-diversified, high-conviction, concentrated global equities portfolio, with overall lower level of risk and volatility than the broad all-countries equity index (MSCI AC World).
Pyshkin said: “Our investment philosophy is that of value investors with focus on income; so we buy companies with higher than average and sustainably growing dividends that are attractively valued. However, we focus on companies that fall under our castle, moat and goldmine (CMG) definition – that is, companies that are financially strong, well managed and operating in attractive industries with defendable business models.
“Given our long term investment horizon and concentrated nature of our portfolio we always aim to meet the company management prior to buying it for the fund to better understand the strategy, operating environment and attitude to shareholders.” The fund will also follow a strict sell discipline utilizing price targets that are reviewed regularly by dedicated analysts said Pyshkin.
The fund will be co-managed by Anu Narula, the head of the global equity team. The fund managers will be supported by dedicated global equity analysts and will have the wider support of the 24-strong equities team run by London-based equities CIO Philip Watson.
In other fund launch news, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (‘DeAWM’) and Ivory Investment Management, L.P. this week announced the launch of the UCITS compliant DB Platinum Ivory Optimal Fund on Deutsche Bank’s UCITS platform.
The fund, which currently has USD130mn in assets, will be managed by Curtis Macnguyen, the founder and head portfolio manager of Ivory.
Macnguyen founded Ivory in 1998. Based in Los Angeles and managing USD2bn in equity strategies, Ivory employs an investment strategy to deliver superior, risk-adjusted returns with low correlation to market indices, while protecting capital in all market conditions.
Ivory emphasizes superior security selection, to build both long and short equity positions, by combining bottom-up, value-based investments with a proprietary spread risk management system that significantly reduces volatility.
Commenting on the launch, Macnguyen, said: “We are excited to be working with Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management on the launch of the DB Platinum Ivory Optimal Fund. We are seeing significant interest from investors globally and this UCITS fund allows Ivory to offer our investment strategy to a larger and more diverse investor base.”
Tarun Nagpal, Head of DeAWM’s Alternative & Fund Solutions group for Europe and Asia, added: “This fund is an important addition to our range of UCITS products. We are pleased to have attracted such strong investor demand and oversubscription for this new product prior to launch. The fund provides a compelling opportunity to gain exposure to US equity markets, a key current investment theme for many of our clients.”
Finally, VAM funds has launched the Luxembourg-domiciled VAM Accessible Clean Energy Fund, a fund vehicle that adheres to socially responsible investing (SRI) rules. The fund will be run by French investment manager Opportunité S.A. Martina Turner will be the lead adviser to the fund; indeed, the strategy is based on one that Turner and her team developed at boutique firm Accessible Clean Energy LLP back in 2009.   
According to Investmenteurope, Lagun-Aro, a Spanish corporate pension fund, is the anchor investor in the fund. The fund’s remit will be to invest in companies across the clean energy value chain covering everything from raw materials to equipment manufacturers, technology developers and infrastructure projects.
Turner was quoted as saying: “At a macro level, governments are committed to tackling climate change over the long-term. Innovation is driving down costs in the sector and at a stock level, clean energy companies typically have low analyst cover and are poorly followed; meaning in-depth research and stock selection can add significant value to returns. This is a long-term story and the good news is that investors have not missed the bull market.” 
VAM Funds is based in Luxembourg. It was established in 2001. Opportunité SA has offices in Paris, Brussels, Basle and Luxembourg.

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