Search This Blog

18 Dec 2007

Hedge Funds Ahead for November

Hedge fund returns remained in double digits for the year despite a 1.6 percent dip in November, according to the Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index. Putting hedge funds ahead of a trio of broad stock indexes through the year's first 11 months.

Among the hedge fund strategies tracked by the index, the Specialty Strategies Group led the pack, up 16.5 percent despite a 1.9 percent drop in November triggered by a fall in emerging markets.

Through November, the GGHFI was up 10.5 percent compared with 6.2 percent for the Standard & Poor's 500, 8 percent for MSCI World Equity, and 3.4 percent for the FTSE 100.

The Long-Short Equity Group lost 2.3 percent in November but was up 10.8 percent for the year. The Directional Trading Group, which bets on futures, was up 9.4 percent for the year, while the Market Neutral Group, was up 7.7 percent through November.

Hedge Fund Launch Expected From GMP Capital

GMP Capital Trust is expected to announced the launch of a new hedge fund this year, according to Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail. The $50-million hedge fund is to be co-headed by star trader Michael Wekerle.

The firm will put up $20-million, employees will add their own money and outside investors will be invited to join, according to the paper. GMP is following a blueprint drawn up by houses such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which gleans more than half its revenue from smart investments with its own capital. All the major Canadian dealers also have proprietary trading funds that use hedge fund strategies.

If the fund can build a successful track record, sources at GMP say they anticipate it will attract support from wealthy individuals and outside institutions such as pension funds, which have embraced alternative asset managers in recent years.

The new hedge fund is expected to deploy four investment strategies. There will be a traditional equity trading approach that includes taking long and short positions, the fund will also do credit trading, which would include buying distressed debt, plus what's known as program or algorithmic trading and options-based volatility investing.

Successful hedge funds created by domestic dealers include three-year old Flatiron Capital Management Partners, a $350-million (Canadian) fund backed by National Bank Financial and staffed by its former employees.

Calvert Launches Alternative Energy Opportunities Abroad

Dublin based mutul fund manager Calvert Inc. announced the launched this year of the Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund. The new hedge fund invests in a broad universe of U.S. and non-U.S. stocks, seeking out companies that are alternative energy market leaders as well as those building a significant presence in the sector.

Jens Peers, head of ECO Investing at Dublin-based KBC Asset Management International Ltd. and lead portfolio manager of the Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund, said: “Non-U.S. companies and markets will benefit from the improving prospects for alternative energy in 2008 because Europe, Asia and other regions are further along than the U.S in addressing climate change and oil dependency by embracing alternative energy technologies.”

Over the long term, according to their website, Calvert believes that alternative energy technologies will become an increasingly significant solution to the global energy and climate change challenges. The firm believes it will take multiple strategies to address climate change and therefore advocates a broad range of solutions, such as greater energy efficiency and aggressive development of renewable energy sources.

The Fund was launched on May 31, 2007 and is advised by Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc. Calvert is one of the nation’s largest socially responsible mutual fund firms with approximately $16 billion in assets under management offering 41 funds that allow individual and institutional investors to pursue a broad range of investment objectives within a single fund family.