James Williams, Hedgeweek

Iconic Funds to launch hosted funds platform for EU and non-EU managers… Heptagon Capital launches two global equity funds…

The European Parliament and Council have backed plans by the European Commission to strengthen consumer protection in the UCITS market. As reported by out-law.com, which provides legal news and opinion from Pinsent Masons, consumers will have the right to take action against depositories charged with the safekeeping of assets should any of those assets go missing.

This is the same provision that will be applied to onshore European AIFs under the AIFMD and forms part of the next generation of UCITS regulation; namely UCITS V.
 
Tighter remuneration controls on managers of UCITS-compliant investment funds will also be applied to discourage employees from taking excessive risks in the hopes of inflating their salaries.
 
Michel Barnier, EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner was quoted as saying: “This agreement on the so-called UCITS V will bring significant improvements to the protection of UCITS investors when it comes to the safe-keeping of UCITS assets by the depositary. It will ensure that the abuses seen at the time of the Madoff scandal cannot be repeated. We must always remember that the UCITS framework is widely viewed as a gold standard for fund regulation globally, and it is important to maintain this. This is an important achievement and will benefit consumers throughout Europe."
 
Heptagon Capital this week announced the launch of two global equity funds on its Irish UCITS platform. The two funds are: the Oppenheimer Global Focus Equity Fund and the Kopernik Global All-Cap Equity Fund.
 
This takes the number of funds on Heptagon’s USD2.8bn AUM UCITS platform to five.
 The Oppenheimer Global Focus Equity strategy combines a thematic approach to idea generation with fundamental company analysis. Randall (Randy) Dishmon, the portfolio manager based in New York, started the strategy in October 2007. He looks for durable businesses, regardless of where they are located, with sustainable structural tailwinds and good economics.
 

 
The investment horizon of three to five years is sufficiently long to allow real value to materialise. Although this is a high-conviction, actively-managed, benchmark-agnostic strategy, its risk profile is limited by the portfolio manager’s focus on price. 
 

 
Dishmon is an employee of OFI Global Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds.
 

 
Dave Iben is the portfolio manager of the Kopernik Global All-Cap Equity Fund. Kpoernik Global Investors is based in Tampa, Florida. The strategy pursues a global, bottom-up, research driven, fundamental evaluation approach that focuses on identifying market inefficiencies through independent analysis. Iben and his team look for undervalued and unloved stocks that will potentially significantly reward long-term investors when stable valuations for each target stock are eventually realized.
 
Tarek Mooro, managing partner and CEO of Heptagon, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have brought two such high quality investment managers to the UCITS market. In line with our philosophy of identifying high-conviction, benchmark agnostic, outperforming managers, we feel very confident that these funds will significantly reward stakeholders over the coming years.”
 
Malta-based Iconic Funds is launching an EU-compliant hosted funds platform for EU and non-EU managers. The platform provides EU-compliant substance infrastructure and can establish either hosted feeder funds or host-flexible non-UCITS fund structures. Later in 2014, Iconic will launch an AIFMD & UCITS IV funds capability and services menu.
 

 
“Not all hosted-fund platforms are created equal,” said David Barclay-Miller, co-founder and business development director at Iconic. “Our USP is that we provide a “guided architecture” for new managers with a full service menu, including proven on-the-ground funds distribution.”
 

 
The platform works on a modular services basis, delivering a cost effective range of service providers including custodians, administrators, tax experts and auditors to ensure the best solutions for clients’ objectives. As well as providing traditional platform services it also offers value-added services in a ‘hub and spoke’ arrangement. Some of the elements of the turnkey solution that clients will be able to choose from include:
 
• Fund establishment
• Access to a risk and portfolio management technology/tools
• Tax structuring of portfolios
• Appointment of service providers
• Interface with legal and regulatory authorities
• Ongoing sales and marketing 
• Capital raising introductions in the UK, Switzerland, the Nordic countries, Germany other states in the EEA and SE Asia.
• Compliance and ongoing risk management

 
The platform is a white-label solution. Discussions are currently underway with potential clients from Switzerland, the UK, Cayman and the Channel Islands.

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