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GLG unveils ‘neutral’ financials fund

GLG, the discretionary investment manager of Man Group, has launched a Ucits version of its long/short financials strategy.

The Dublin-domiciled GLG Financials Alternative fund has a global mandate and targets absolute returns and low market correlation by investing in a portfolio of between 30 and 60 financials stocks.

Run by David Sanders and Stephen Holliday, the managers of the $70.9m (£44.2m) hedge strategy, the fund will be net market neutral overall. Sanders and Holliday will pick stocks by using proprietary in-house research combined with pro-active risk management.

Sanders says there is an abundance of market neutral opportunities within the financials sector owing to various macroeconomic, regulatory and stock-specific factors.

The manager says they plan to take advantage of the large number of capital raises, government stake sales and initial public offerings which are due to come to the market over the next few years.

“Our strong in-house expertise and analysis provides us with the tools to identify opportunities in a sector where there are relatively few specialists. This has enabled us to outperform, with a market-neutral approach, in what has been a turbulent market,” Sanders says.

“We are confident that we can continue this success and are happy to be able to bring the strategy to a wider client base.”

Rhodri Mason, the head of Ucits management at Man, says Ucits funds will remain a key area of focus for the group.

“We are pleased to be adding GLG Financials Alternative to our expanding range of absolute return Ucits funds, demand for which remains strong,” he says.

Minimum investment in the GLG Financials Alternative fund is £1,000.

The hedge fund – which was launched in May 2002 – has returned 4.31% over the year to February 29, according to GLG.

The strategy’s largest geographical overweight is to Europe ex-UK, with a 68.6% weighting, followed by Asia ex-Japan and North America with positions of 11.6% and 9.9% respectively.


Matthew Wyles to step down as Nationwide director

Nationwide group distribution director Matthew Wyles is stepping down from his responsibilities as part of an organisational restructure. The lender is combining product development with distribution and brand development to form a new directorate called Group Retail, led by group product and marketing director Chris Rhodes Group intermediary sales managing director Ian Andrew will transfer […]

Barclays floats return to ‘vanilla’ products

Barclays Rich Ricci committee 440

Barclays has questioned whether banks should be offering consumers complex products and has suggested a return to simple, “vanilla” product ranges.

At a Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards joint committee hearing this week, Conservative MP Mark Garnier challenged Barclays as to why it thought interest rate swaps were suitable for small and medium sized businesses.

Barclays chief executive of corporate and investment banking Rich Ricci argued the products can suit some firms, but said a discussion was needed about whether banks should be offering complex products.

Ricci said: “What we have seen is when we do make mistakes it is incredibly expensive. We need to take a step back and ask whether we should just be offering a very vanilla, very simple set of products that customers can agree to and understand. And if they want something more bespoke we just tell them we do not do that. Those spectrums are on the table and I think it is important to consider this given how expensive some of these mistakes are.”

Ricci admitted there were “some cultural failings” within Barclays but said most staff “want to do the right thing”.

Barclays is one of 11 banks that have agreed with the FSA to pay redress to SME customers missold interest rate swaps. The bank was also fined £290m in June by UK and US regulators for manipulating Libor.

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “Banks will offer whatever makes them the most money. But banks have to weigh up whether making lots of money is worth the reputational risk when these things inevitably blow up.”


FSCS levy hikes are ‘unsustainable’, say advisers

Advisers say funding the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has become “unsustainable” after it was announced that higher than expected compensation costs are set to push up adviser levies by £28m. In its Outlook newsletter, published last week, the FSCS forecast a £25m interim levy on the investment intermediation class for 2012/13 due to claims relating […]


The sector must look to other industries for inspiration if it is ever to fill the protection gap, says Deepak Jobanputra, actuarial and product director for PruProtect, and the success of Apple would be a good place to start

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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