Gottex looks to expand LUMA hedge platform through US partnership

Hedge investor the Gottex group has sealed a partnership with America’s Southport Harbor Advisors for developing the US activities of its LUMA hedge fund platform, in a westward expansion that complements nicely the group’s enlargement eastwards, in Asia.

The US agreement, which is non-exclusive, will see Southport Harbor Associates in Connecticut assist with distribution in the US for those managers on the $1.85bn platform, and forge contact with appropriate new managers for it.

The tie-up comes at a good time for US hedge fund managers, many of whom are trying to find suitable distribution channels into Europe that will not fall foul of pending EU plans to regulate most alternatives funds being distributed on the Continent and UK.

Gottex’s Solutions Services unit set up LUMA, with OFI Group as a joint venture, in 2009 as investors coming out of the 2008 crisis required greater transparency, information and reporting, and risk management from their hedge fund investments.

The platform, which began with assets of about $350m, offers managed accounts of Ucits III hedge funds – adding a layer of onshore regulation and extra liquidity to the equation, as well.

Other services the Luxembourg-based platform offers include transparent pricing, well-known service providers, integrated tax reporting, and risk management capabilities.

It offers assistance and advice for managers on daily position reconciliation, independent pricing, including estimated daily NAVs, advice about risk monitoring and reporting, and help in managing service provider relationships.

Southport will act as its platform representative in the US. Southport is a consulting and marketing firm for hedge funds.

Greg Troccoli (pictured), global head of business development for LUMA Solutions Services, said: “Southport Harbor’s investor-driven approach to the marketing of managers fits very well within our strategy, helping provide the infrastructure and support to grow the managers on the LUMA platform.”

Steven Simmons, global head of sales for Southport, added: “The partnership with LUMA is further testament to the success of Southport Harbor’s unique model that presents compelling hedge fund offerings tailored to the mandates of the institutional investors with whom we work”.

As well as expanding its offerings and links west of Zurich, the Gottex group is also expanding to the east in Asia, with approval expected soon for its acquisition of Penjing Asset Management, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund investor.

For more on this, and on American asset managers expanding into Europe, see the latest edition of Investment Europe.

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