Industry fund HostPlus has moved to capitalise on market opportunities, awarding four new mandates.

The $7 billion fund appointed new managers in emerging markets, Australian equities long/short, and small cap strategies, while awarding an existing manager a new mandate to run an absolute return portfolio. The fund is in the process of negotiating terms with the managers, and was unable to name the new appointments at presstime. The mandates will be funded from cash flow and dividend reinvestment, and are not at the expense of any current HostPlus managers. Sam Sicilia, chief investment officer at HostPlus, said that while the fund had been inundated with offers from distressed debt managers, it was hesitant to appoint a new manager in that space. In July 2006, the fund extended the mandate of its international bond manager, Loomis Sayles, to enable it to switch between high-yield debt and bank loans at its discretion. “I think the cost and return [of hiring a specialist distressed debt manager] is arguable, but it is dependent on how long those opportunities will last,” he said. “We don’t want to be stuck with a manager in six to eight months time that has nothing to do. It is more efficient to check the capabilities of your existing managers first,” he said.

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