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Legg Mason offers absolute fund in joint venture

Legg Mason is planning to launch a global absolute return fund with fund of hedge fund manager Permal.

If approved by the regulator, the fund will be multi-asset and look to offer investors annual returns of 8-10 per cent with a volatility of 6-7 per cent. The product will run under a Ucits III structure, offering daily dealing and liquidity.

It will be domiciled in Dublin and the launch is planned for the final quarter of 2009. It will sit within the Legg Mason global funds range but the group has yet to decide what sector the product will sit in.

Legg Mason acquired Permal in 2005. The group has 35 years of experience in the alternative asset management space and currently has £12bn in assets.

Permal will use a three-stage investment process. Initially, the firm completes a quantitative analysis to create an initial model portfolio, the Permal investment committee then adds its qualitative macro insights to the product before the portfolio managers choose the Ucits recognised instruments to build a diversified portfolio .

Legg Mason head of European sales Justin Eede says: “We are extremely excited to offer an absolute return fund that takes into account Permal’s expertise and long-term track record.”

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