Martin Currie Acquires Sofaer's European Biz, Including Hedge Fund

Jun 1 2010 | 1:06pm ET

Edinburgh, Scotland-based Martin Currie Investment Management announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Sofaer Capital European long/short equity business, which includes a US$140 million hedge fund.

Sofaer Capital currently manages approximately $280 million of assets, of which $140 million is the Sofaer Capital European Hedge Fund and $140 million two separate accounts.

Two principals who manage the hedge fund, Michael Browne and Steve Frost, will join Martin Currie on July 1. Charlotte Dagg, an investment analyst working on the fund, is expected to join later in the year.

Browne and Frost have worked together on European equities for over 20 years and have co-managed the Sofaer Capital European Hedge Fund since Jan. 1, 2001.

"We have been giving consideration to the scaling down of our operations from the UK for some time and this transaction effectively delivers that. Furthermore, the sale of the Sofaer European Hedge Fund to Martin Currie also delivers continuity for our investors which we feel is very important," said David Helm, chief executive of Sofaer Global Research.

He added that Sofaer will be maintaining a research capabilities in London, although withdrawing from European fund management.

"Essentially, the group is reverting to its roots in Hong Kong where Michael Sofaer started managing hedge funds in 1983," said Helm. "The remaining Asian and Global Funds will all be managed and administered from our office in Hong Kong henceforth. We have seen steady inflows into our funds and we are committed to building on the solid performance we have demonstrated over the years."

Willie Watt, chief executive of Martin Currie, said, "We view the market dislocation as an opportunity to attract the world's best talent. This acquisition enables us to further strengthen our expertise in European equities, fill an obvious gap in our long/short equity business and add substantial assets under management to our hedge-fund business."

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