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Money managers under the microscope

Berkshire shake up augurs well for hedgies

April 30, 2009

windsorBerkshire is best known as the leafy home of Windsor Castle but its council pension fund is refusing to conform to the county’s conservative image, unveiling an investments shake up which includes a hefty allocation to one of the most widely hyped investment products going, a hedge fund managed accounts platform.


The billion pound fund on Thursday revealed that it will slash its equity weighting to 22.5 percent from 65 and invest 17.5 percent of its portfolio in alternative assets including a 7.5 percent into a hedge fund managed accounts platform run by France’s Lyxor.


It will also invest in commodities and infrastructure for the first time.


The size of Berkshire’s allocation, at 7.5 percent of the fund’s total assets, is some way larger than the average hedge fund allocation among UK pension funds and bodes well for an industry still reeling from its worst year ever.


Those in the industry who have been touting managed accounts as the next big thing will be particularly pleased to see some confirmation of the expected pick up in interest as institutions seek robust and transparent ways to seek out returns.

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