LONDON — Traditional long-only U.K. money managers are bringing hedge funds center stage of mainstream investments.
Gartmore Investment Management PLC, London, with $77 billion under management, is leading the pack by placing its long-only managers under the same roof as its hedge fund managers. Local consultants say Baring Asset Management Ltd., Schroder Investment Management Ltd. and Henderson Global Investors Ltd., all of London, are taking a similar route.
Gartmore, which was acquired by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Columbus, Ohio, in 2000, just merged its alternative and traditional teams in an effort to showcase areas of strength all in one go when marketing to clients. The firm will be launching its 12th hedge fund, the AlphaGen Rhocas this month. Meanwhile, Barings is gearing up to launch its first single-strategy long-short fund, the Baring China Absolute Return Fund PLC, said Ian Pascal, marketing director. The fund was opened for marketing last week. And Schroders officials see hedge funds becoming more mainstream within its client base. The firm responds to these types of multiasset mandates upon client request, said Jolanda Niccolini, associate director for hedge funds. Ms. Niccolini was unable to quantify how many of these mandates Schroders has taken on, and declined to say how much in assets they hold.
Gartmore's move is perceived to be a smart one by consultants as money managers seek to compete by broadening their product lines. At the same time, consultants hinted that Gartmore's long-only business has been struggling and this is an effort by the fund to play up its "crown jewels"— i.e. hedge funds.