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South African Insurer To Offer Retail Hedge Funds Offshore

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore, London

24 January 2002

Institutional fund manager IO Investors is branching into the retail market with a fund of hedge funds.The company, a subsidiary of South African insurance company Sanlam, already offers a range of offshore multi-manager equity and bond funds to institutional investors. Its new Dublin-registered Low Volatility fund, a fund of hedge funds, is open to high net worth clients. Dr Chris Jones, who has a background in hedge fund investment, will manage the fund. He has previously worked for State Street Global Advisors and Liberty Ermitage. He said: “We do not just seek out star talent. If we were not happy with the company as a whole then we would not invest in it."

“The low volatility hedge fund has been designed for those investors where preservation of capital and steady growth are the two prime objectives. Should clients have multiple investment objectives, the fund can also be used as a building block alongside our other manager of manager products to produce exactly the right investment mix.”

The fund of hedge funds, which is also open to institutional investors, has a minimum investment set of Euros200,000. The annual management fee is 1.5 per cent. There is no performance fee.

The company, which is the sister company of IFA firm Punter Southall Financial Management, is also in the process of making some of its institutional offshore funds available as onshore retail investments.

Parent company Sanlam offers banking services through an agreement with Lloyds TBS (Isle of Man) as well as various investment options. Most of the investment opportunities are in the form of mutual funds or unit trusts, both rand- and foreign-denominated. However, Sanlam also offers some asset allocation funds that can be used as the investment medium for saving in endowment and life policies, retirement annuities and products for investment at retirement.

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