Fortitude Capital again took out the Australian Hedge Fund of the Year award, while the $12 billion Sunsuper was named Best Investor Supporting Australian Managers, at the annual AIMA Australia hedge fund industry awards.

On the back of 20 consecutive months of positive returns, the Fortitude Capital Absolute Return Trust was awarded the top prize for the second year in a row at the Australian Hedge Fund Awards held at The Ivy in Sydney on Thursday September 17. It was also named Best Market Neutral Fund.

In the calendar year to August, the fund returned 4.83 per cent.

Sunsuper was judged the best supporter of hedge funds on account of the twenty-plus hedge fund strategies in its alternatives portfolio – two of which are Australian – and its consistent dialogue with domestic managers.

“We’ve been having a lot of constructive dialogue with [Australian] managers and they know that we understand what they are talking about,” David Hartley, chief investment officer at Sunsuper, said.

One of the domestic funds Sunsuper has invested in is AR Capital Management, in which Treasury Group recently bought a 30 per cent stake. Sunsuper allocated about $15 million to the manager.

Bruce Tomlinson, who runs Sunsuper’s alternatives portfolio, is the fund’s main liaison with domestic hedge fund managers. He also oversees the $200 million portfolio of hedge funds previously run by Everest Financial Group for Sunsuper.

The fund terminated Everest as manager of the portfolio in May after the departure of key people from the company, but retained ownership of the underlying investments.

The fund then appointed Aksia, a specialist hedge fund advisory firm based in New York, to advise it on its hedge fund program.

Other award winners on the night were as follows:

Best Emerging Manager – Apeiron Global Macro Fund

Best Long/Short and Absolute Return Fund – Lanterne Arran Fund

Best Global Macro/Futures Fund – BlackRock Asset Allocation Alpha Fund – Class D

Best Fund-of-Fund – FRM Sigma Fund – Class A

Contribution to the Australian Hedge Fund Industry – John Curry form law firm Henry Davis York

Funds were judged on their absolute returns, Sortino ratio and rates of performance drawdown and recovery.

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