GAM plans changes for Ucits hedge fund range

GAM is making numerous changes to its regulated hedge funds from June, including tax reporting status in Germany and Austria for Star Composite Absolute Return, and bringing management of another product inhouse.

“Tax reporting is expected to be provided for [GAM Star Composite Absolute Return] in Austria and Germany”, GAM said in a filing.

Investor dealing in the $80.2m fund will change from fortnightly to weekly, and because growth in Ucits III funds has meant the co-managers can now access more trading strategies, provisions associated with the use of the GAM Alternative Trading Investment Index will fall away from its prospectus.

Star Composite Absolute Return will also be allowed to avoid equities completely when appropriate, rather than having at least 10% previously.

The managed fund, which can invest in inhouse and externally managed portfolios, and directly in securities, launched in December 2009 and was flat this year to 31 March. It made 6.2% in 2010.

Separately, GAM is appointing investment director Paul McNamara manager of the $98m Star Pharo Emerging Market Debt & FX, launched early last year and currently overseen by Pharo Global Advisors.

GAM cited the integration of fixed income and FX specialist Augustus Asset Managers, for which McNamara worked, as rationale. He already runs $7.6bn in emerging market fixed income and FX strategies.

The fund’s name will change to GAM Star Emerging Markets Total Return. It will be permitted to invest in stressed debt securities issued or guaranteed by companies, governments or their agencies.

GAM Star Emerging Market Rates will also be permitted to invest in stressed debt securities issued or guaranteed by companies, governments or their agencies.

GAM Star Absolute Emerging Markets and GAM Star Frontier Equity funds will be allowed to invest in credit default swaps, to hedge against credit risk.

And GAM Star Global Selector will be allowed to invest more heavily in cash and cash-like instruments when defensive positioning is appropriate, and a 15% performance fee charged after making at least three-month Libor will apply to new share classes.

A spokeswoman for GAM said none of the changes represented significant alterations, nor materially affected how the funds work.

The GAM Star fund umbrella, which includes GAM’s long-only and long/short Ucits funds, had CHF6.9bn at the end of 2010, almost double the assets of a year earlier. The alternative Ucits III range in GAM Star grew to CHF2bn from a standing start in late 2009.



David Walker

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