UK - F&C, the fund manager majority-owned by Friends Provident, is to expand its newly-launched UK 130/30 strategy into European equities.

The firm this week announced the launch of a UK 130/30 fund, which makes it one of the first movers among European fundamental houses into the area.

The fund, known as the F&C Enhanced Alpha UK, will be benchmarked against the FTSE All-Share index and will be run by existing F&C managers Luke Newman and Makis Katetsis.

The Luxembourg domiciled Sicav will be targeted at institutions with fees of 100 basis points and a performance component of 20%.

"We will launch a family of these [funds] over time in various asset classes," said Richard Wilson, head of UK equities at F&C, pointing to the firm's book of Dutch institutional business.

Wilson added fundamental stockpickers were more suited to run 130/30 funds in markets such as those in the UK and Asia because of the skewed composition of the market.

"The skew of the FTSE All-Share Index towards a small number of mega cap companies makes fundamental investing more suitable for UK equities," he said.

Many other European asset managers - both quant based and fundamental - are looking to or have already launched ‘active extension' or 130/30 products, including Dexia Asset Management, Henderson, Invesco, Pioneer Investments and RCM.

In separate news, Willie Watt, chief executive of Martin Currie, said his firm was studying the possibility of launching a global equities 130/30 fund but would not move to a full launch until a track record has been established.

F&C is likely to take on the investment management arm of Resolution later this year following an announcement yesterday confirming Resolution is to merge with Friends Provident.