Marshall Wace To Close Pioneering Listed Hedge Fund

Jun 11 2010 | 12:07pm ET

Marshall Wace Asset Management is ready to pull the plug on its MW Tops fund, the first-ever listed single-manager hedge fund.

The London-based firm will ask shareholders next month to approve plans to fold the Euronext-listed fund and move its assets into an unlisted, but UCITS III-compliant, hedge fund. If 75% of the investors approve the move, Marshall Wace will liquidate the fund and roll its assets into its €104.2 million MW Developed Europe Tops Fund.

Pending that approval, the transfer could be completed as soon as October, Investment Week reports.

MW Tops debuted to great fanfare in December 2006, garnering well over US$1 billion in assets. But the fund suffered from a chronic discount to net asset value, and in October 2008, Marshall Wace gave investors an out, one of which 84% took advantage. Since then, the much-reduced fund—it now manages £130 million—has still struggled with the discount, which has averaged 9.4% over the past year.

“The vote to transfer is an example of Marshall Wace putting the interests of its investors first,” a spokesman for the firm said.

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