April 2015

FUND LAUNCHES: Fund launches review

JapanWe profile some of the most interesting fund launches in recent weeks and examine the performance of a product already on the market. FL 1 JAPAN
Profits made in Japan are rising faster than anywhere else in the world, and the outlook for the country in 2015 holds potential. Prime minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to call a snap election in December 2014 helped to confirm his mandate for the ‘third arrow’ reforms in his ‘Abenomics’ programme. This initiative has encouraged corporate Japan to reduce its cash load and focus on shareholder value, addressing ongoing concerns. A new Stewardship Code for large investors has also been introduced and a corporate governance code is expected in the near future. Investment manager RWC is looking to take advantage of these conditions in launching the RWC Nissay Japan Focus Fund, in partnership with Tokyo-based Nissay Asset Management (NAM).  The fund has day one investors totalling approximately $40 million (€37.1 million), and will closely replicate an existing Japanese fund that is an alternative investment fund. Launched in 2005, that fund has generated 34% over Japan’s Topix index since inception. The new fund will be a sub-fund of its Luxembourg Sicav, operating as a long-only Japan equity fund focused on bottom-up stock-picking. It will be registered in the major European jurisdictions. FL 2CONVERTIBLE BONDS
With more investors seeking exposure to investment strategies through regulated Ucits vehicles, multi-strategy asset manager CQS is focused on expanding its Ucits capabilities.  As part of this growth, the firm has launched a long-only Global Convertible Bond Fund. The fund will be available to investors via CQS’s new Ucits platform, which is registered in Ireland and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The fund will invest across the global convertible bond universe, taking 50-70 positions. It will target annualised net returns of 6-8% over the full market cycle and seek to minimise volatility to 5-7%. James Peattie, head of long-only convertibles, will manage the fund. He says: “The excellent long-term risk-adjusted returns delivered by convertibles makes them a valuable asset class for long-term investment.  “The current investment opportunity set is strong, with a healthy new issue market and a good range of idiosyncratic opportunities.” FL 3DEVELOPING MARKETS
Blackfriars Asset Management, a London-based fund management boutique specialising in developing markets, is responding to client demand for a focused, high-conviction, benchmark-agnostic portfolio by launching a Developing Markets Focus Fund. 
Bringing together 30-40 stocks from both emerging and frontier markets, the fund will follow a strategy of bottom-up fundamental analysis. It will have no performance fees, and an annual management fee for the A classes of 0.95%. There will also be founder shares (F-shares) available for investors who are prepared to commit a substantial amount to the fund within the first three months from launch. They will be entitled to use the share class at a discounted management fee of 0.475% in return. The fund will not have a benchmark. FL 4GLOBAL GROWTH
US equity investment firm Polen Capital has spread its wings this year with the launch of the Polen Capital Global Growth Fund. The strategy follows strong investor demand for a global equity product and is availble to UK and EU investors. It seeks long-term growth by building a concentrated portfolio of high-quality global businesses with the potential for sustained expansion. Stocks come from North America, Asia Pacific ex Japan, the Middle East and Europe, and cover sectors including information technology, healthcare and consumer discretionary. The portfolio holds around 30 stocks and companies must have consistent, strong earnings growth – evidence, as Polen sees it, of the potential for outsized returns with less risk.  The fund, which holds the same active investment philosophy as the firm’s flagship Focus Growth strategy, has daily liquidity and holds the MSCI ACWI as its benchmark.  FL 5ONE YEAR ON
Just over a year ago, emerging and frontier market specialist East Capital launched the East Capital China A-Shares Fund. The firm, which was the first fund manager domiciled in the Nordic region to receive a Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) programme quota, launched the fund to provide access to renminbi-denominated A-shares listed on China’s stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen.  The fund was fully subscribed from launch and offers diversification benefits, as it has low correlation with global indices.  Its size is $150 million (€139.4 million) and it has returned 13.23% this year (and 39.19% since inception).  The domestic China A-shares market was the world’s top performer in 2014, driven by strong performance from financial stocks.  November 2014 saw the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme, which allows foreign investors to buy A-shares on the Shanghai exchange via Hong Kong and Chinese investors to buy Hong Kong shares from Shanghai, further inspiring investor interest in the Chinese market. ©2015 funds europe  

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