Hedge funds of funds (FoFs) managers are responding to a heightened appetite for risk from super funds with what they say is a ‘second generation’ of investment offerings.

According to Damien Hatfield, whose new firm, Hatfield Liptak Advisors, last week signed Caliburn Capital Partners as its first hedge fund manager to represent in Australia, the hedge FoFs with higher target returns are increasingly in demand. “People are looking to increase their risk and returns,” Hatfield said. “With equity markets doing well, they are becoming less satisfied with the traditional 300bps above bank bills that hedge funds of funds have offered.” Caliburn, a UK-based hedge FoF manager which is 29 per cent owned by Japan’s Mizuho Bank, offers a range of higher-alpha FoFs, including its flagship Caliburn Strategic Fund. That fund, targeting 10-15 per cent returns, last year returned 18.08 per cent with a 4.8 per cent volatility. Caliburn, which Hatfield Liptak will market to super funds and other investors in Australia and New Zealand, also has a ‘Greater China Fund’ and an ‘Energy New Era Fund’ in its lineup plus a new arbitrage fund, ‘Global Inefficiencies Fund’. Hatfield, one of the first hedge fund management executives in Australia in the 1990s, started his new firm with partner Daniel Liptak, an experienced hedge fund researcher, this year. The firm aims to raise investment funds for both offshore managers in Australia and Australian managers offshore. Hatfield said yesterday that he expected to sign up his second manager soon, a Melbourne-based equity long/short fund manager. Caliburn will be the firm’s only global FoF to represent. Others will be local or single-strategy managers. Caliburn has about 45 underlying managers in its Strategic fund, including a very profitable fund which has shorted the troubled US sub-prime mortgage market. The manager, which has about $A550 million under management, adopts a thematic approach to its portfolio, prior to manager selection. Current themes include global oil, China and real estate.

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