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Barclays To Offer Hedge Fund Plan To Retail Investors

by Phillip Morton, Investors Offshore.com

15 November 2005


Fortune Asset Management, a London-based alternative investment manager, and Barclays Bank are set to launch a new hedge fund plan aimed at UK retail investors.

The Barclays ‘Market Wizards’ Protected Plan will be linked to the performance of the original Market Wizards Funds, which invests in a portfolio of some of the world's leading hedge funds and is managed by ‘legendary’ hedge fund investor, Jack D. Schwager and the Fortune Asset Management investment team.

Essentially a fund of hedge funds, the Market Wizards Fund invests across a basket of more than 30 uncorrelated hedge funds, thus dissipating risk for the investor.

The Plan is designed to be tax-efficient and will be offered in the form of a protected note issued by Barclays Bank Plc. Investors will be able to enjoy an initial 100% participation in the note whilst also being allowed to redeem the investment at 80% of the highest ever fund price. It will be available through qualifying intermediaries and wealth managers.

Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Fortune Asset Management, commented:

“The Plan will use an actively constructed investment process, drawing on the outstanding skills set of Jack and his team at Fortune. The unfettered nature of the plan demonstrates to investors that Fortune has the freedom to invest in the most attractive hedge funds worldwide in a product designed to offer positive returns in all market environments, a process that has earned Fortune an AA rating from Standard and Poor's.”

“Access to hedge funds has until now been the preserve of institutional investors or via listed closed end vehicles with very high built-in fees, and we expect strong interest for this cost-effective route from IFAs, wealth managers and discerning UK investors.”

The Barclays Market Wizards Protected Plan will be redeemable each month without any penalty. The Plan will qualify for capital gains tax treatment and taper relief in the UK and is a qualifying investment for pension funds.

Its target returns, net of all charges, are Bank of England base rate plus 4% (currently equal to 8.5%). The Plan will have a £7,000 minimum investment requirement and be ISA- and PEP-friendly, for both new monies and transfers.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore investment, offshore stock exchanges, and hedge funds is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report9.asp

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