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16 Mar 2007

IceCapital Launches Alternative Fund

IceCapital Fund Management Company Ltd. announced in a press release on Wednesday that it has launched a new non-UCITS mutual fund, IceCapital Alternative Beta, which offers hedge fund like return, in liquid and risk-transparent form. The fund is the first of its kind in Finland and one of the earliest in Europe.

UCITS - Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities - is the name given by the European Union (EU) to pan-European investment funds.

The fund is based on latest research on so-called alternative risk premiums. The strategy is to invest in alternative market risk factors, or alternative betas, with which it is possible to form a portfolio that closely tracks the average performance of hedge funds. At the same time the investor receives extra return, or risk premium, as compensation for risk while benefiting from better diversification than in the traditional equity and bond investments.

"The very fast growth of IceCapital's asset management business is due to quick innovativeness. IceCapital Alternative Beta fund is yet another example of that. At the same time, the fund's broad core-satellite range of investments is supplemented with an attractive active investment", says Managing Director, Jyri Viskari.

Mutual Fund IceCapital Alternative Beta starts on 14 March 2007. The minimum investment amount is 100.000 Euros and the fund is open weekly. The portfolio manager of the fund is ICECAPITAL Asset Management Ltd’s Chief Investment Officer Mikael Simonsen.

IceCapital Asset Management and IceCapital Fund Management are part of the independent IceCapital Group, which focuses on investment banking, asset management and private equity. The group currently manages assets reaching 2 billion Euros.

F&C to Launch More Hedge Funds "As the Need Arises"

F&C Asset Management PLC is planning on launching its first private equity fund of funds product for institutional investors. The new fund will invest in event-driven hedge funds, which bet on M&A, share buy-backs and other corporate events.

The new fund will invest in between 20 and 40 hedge funds selected and monitored by F&C Partners. Alain Grisay, F&C's CEO, said at a press conference: "We are near the completion of our first new European private equity limited partnership." The first soft closing for the fund is expected in a couple of weeks and initial institutional commitment could be in the region of E130 million ($173 million).

F&C is also pursuing alternative investments such as hedge funds with a global diversified fixed income products. "Further hedge funds will be launched as and when we identify the right opportunity", he said. This is part of a three-year plan to focus on specialised and high-fee fund management activities such as hedge funds and LDI's (Liability Driven Investments).

Earlier this month a new portable alpha fund was launched using long/short bets on assets, markets and currencies through the use of derivatives.

"We are convinced that this product has the potential to achieve significant scale," Grisay said. The results for the new strategic plan will be visible by 2009, the CEO pledged.