Focus Investment Group, a New York-based hedge fund-of-funds and advisory firm which has been investing in Australia since 2003, has appointed an Australian and regional representative.

Colin Taylor, who was the head of UBS prime broking until midway through last year, will represent Focus through his recently established Sydney-based CT Global Advisors, marketing to and client servicing Australian funds as well as those based in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Focus has two key points of differentiation from the many other hedge FoFs offered to Australian investors:

  1. Emphasis on liquidity management, derived from the firm’s heritage providing customised services
  2. Due diligence and transparency offered through its Vidrio platform, which can be accessed also by non-FoF clients.

Focus has four hedge FoFs and custom portfolios involving separately managed accounts. The funds are:

. an “opportunity” fund using global multi-strategy, with monthly liquidity

. a “select” fund using global multi-strategy, with bottom-up manager selection and with moderate volatility (quarterly liquidity)

. a “recovery” fund aiming for absolute returns through an event-driven strategy (quarterly liquidity), and

. a European long/short equities fund.

Taylor said that the Focus style of structuring its products to a liquidity profile had provided it with a competitive edge throughout the GFC.

“We were able to meet all redemptions without gating,” he said.

The Vidrio platform, which is used to administer and monitor the Focus FoFs, was offered as a standalone service for the first time in 2008, with a large US pension fund going live.

It enables an investor to put all of its portfolio, including long-only investments, onto the platform for due diligence and independent monitoring of information.

Focus was established in 1994 and remains independently owned by directors and staff.

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