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Investec set for commodity challenge

Investec managing director David Aird says the company is looking to double its present total of £1.5bn of assets under management in the commodities sector within two years.

Aird says the firm’s newly assembled commodities team now has the capacity to challenge the leading players in the market.

Investec recruited Goldman Sachs analysts Mark Lacey and Jonathan Waghorn in February to replace Tim Guinness on its global energy fund and offshore fund.

Aird says: “We have a number of strong performers such as global energy, which is already well known. We have £1.5bn of assets in commodities and there is no reason why we cannot compete with the likes of BlackRock who run £12.5bn.”

In May, Investec launched an enhanced natural resources commodity fund under the management of Bradley George and George Chevelrey.

The fund can invest across numerous commodities, from mining to cattle and uses George’s experience in the hedge fund world by taking long and short positions.

Aird believes this is a massive benefit and says many fund firms are not making full use of wider powers from the hedge fund perspective.

He says: “So many longonly managers run these sorts of offerings when hedge fund managers have the experience of using derivative instruments, shorting and the absolute return focus.”

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