Boston-based investment manager Eaton Vance, which established a new Australian office late last year, has launched a global equity fund in the Australian market targeting institutional investors.

Eaton Vance is offering the Eaton Vance (Australia) Hexavest All-Country Global Equity Fund, which is managed through the firm’s new 49-per-cent interest, Montreal-based manager Hexavest.

Industry superannuation fund, Tasplan, has seeded the new fund with an initial investment believed to be around $100 million.

The fund’s investment philosophy centres on a predominantly top-down investment style incorporating proprietary research and quantitative models.

Nicholas Allen, Eaton Vance’s country head for Australia and New Zealand, said the fund was positioning itself “with a contrarian approach to avoid capital destruction”.

“Our aim is to deliver a relative return on the upside, but an absolute return on the downside,” said Allen.

“We think that approach is one that many institutions will want to have within their portfolios, as our contrarian philosophy can compliment that of other different managers.”

The Hexavest fund is based on three research pillars: the macro-economic enviroinement, valuation and investor sentiment.

Since inception and its launch overseas in 1999, the fund has returned 6.8-per-cent per annum, 3.9 per cent over its benchmark, the MSCI World Net Index.

Allocation by country is weighted around 54 per cent to North America, 18 per cent to Europe, 15 per cent to Asia, just under 3 per cent to emerging markets and the balance in cash.

Founded in 1924 in the US, Eaton Vance is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has around US$200 billion in assets under management. It currently has around $4 billion under management in Australia and New Zealand.

Eaton Vance subsidiary Parametric, an after-tax specialist, is also active in the Australian market and last year won a significant mandate from QANTAS Super.

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