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FTSE hedge index brings in $300m

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Institutions have put $300m (E253m) into the hedge fund vehicle behind FTSE’s new investible hedge fund index, the fund’s asset manager said.
“We’re starting with $300m in cash and commitments,” says Mark Ellis, managing director at London-based MSS. MSS will manage the Cayman Islands-domiciled platform, known as FTSEhx Fund SPX. FTSE will use net asset value data from the initial 40 funds on the platform to generate its new hedge fund industry.
Ellis says the investors were “leading institutions” outside the UK, though he declines to name them. He adds that the index is likely to go live this month.
Due diligence on funds is provided by Zurich-based Harcourt Investment Consulting. Harcourt is part of NIB Capital Group, which is jointly owned by the largest Dutch pension funds, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and PGGM. Ellis says they were not putting seed money into the fund.
The FTSE vehicle received approval from the Cayman Islands’ authorities this month and has draft approval from the Irish Stock Exchange, where it will be listed.
Ellis says the new index would be useful for providers of derivatives, due to the close relationship between the index and the underlying assets. “We are managing a fund which drives the index. The two will move without error.”
He adds that they could select from up to 300 managers over time. Fund administration is provided by New Jersey-based DPM, with Daiwa providing custody.

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