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SG funds aim to beat index by 5% a year

SG Asset Management is launching a new range of higher-risk funds aimed at achieving higher returns than its existing core portfolio of lower-risk unit trusts.

The new range will aim to return 4 or 5 per cent a year above their respective benchmarks, as opposed to the 1 or 2 per cent target for the existing range.

The first of the series of new launches, scheduled for the end of the summer, are to be a UK growth fund and European fund, which will be managed by the same teams that run their existing low risk equivalents. The funds will concentrate on some of the best ideas from the portfolios of their existing counterparts, holding typically around 30 to 40 stocks.

SGAM managing director John Ions says: “In the past we have aimed for consistent returns at lower risk, but now we have started to notice an appetite for higher-risk products. This can be borne out, for example, by the recent hedge fund launches.”

Meanwhile, SGAM will launch a new corporate bond fund next week while a US fund to be run by technology manager Alan Torry is set for launch in May.

The US fund will be a clone of an institutional fund run by Torry.

SGAM&#39s barrage of planned launches comes as it wins its three-year bet with Virgin Direct this week.

Richard Branson had bet SG&#39s Nicola Horlick £6,000 in March 1998 that the SG UK growth fund could not outperform the FTSE All-Share index by 2 per cent a year for three years. Horlick is to donate the money to Great Ormond Street Hospital, which looked after her daughter Georgie up to her death two years ago.

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