GERMANY - Commerzbank’s Cominvest Asset Management and Dutch pension-fund-owned Harcourt Investment Consulting are planning to launch a fund of hedge funds in the second half of the year.

The fund will be developed via a partnership between Frankfurt-based Cominvest, New York-based PlusFunds Group Inc. and Harcourt.

Harcourt is a Zurich-based supplier of hedge funds solutions for institutional investors which is part of NIB Capital, owned by Dutch pension funds Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and PGGM.

PlusFunds would provide a “separate managed account platform” while Harcourt, which Commerzbank said manages more than two billion dollars (1.62 billion euros), would act as advisor for manager selection and allocation.

“Using some of the 69 managers available on the PlusFunds platform, Cominvest plans a broadly diversified approach that invests in all main hedge fund strategies,” Commerzbank stated.

This strategy, the bank added, “serves the demands” for product transparency and risk management of institutional clients.

Peter Fanconi, managing partner at Harcourt, said Germany was a market that is just beginning to open up to hedge funds.

But he added: “We are convinced we have identified together with Cominvest an approach that will make their fund-of-funds one of the best available in the market in Germany today.”

Michael Vogt, manager of Cominvest, said: “Our best-of-breed selection remains in line with our traditionally high product and service standards to our investors.”

PlusFunds chairman Chris Sugrue added: “We are delighted to note a continuing pattern of European asset managers choosing to work with PlusFunds.”

“It is evident that the market is strongly favouring a platform that is able to provide superior control and oversight.”