IMFC Shutters Diversified Program, Preps Offshore Fund

Apr 25 2007 | 9:35am ET

Toronto-based futures shop Integrated Managed Futures Corp has been busy of late tweaking its product lineup. The firm in February ceased trading the IMFC Diversified program, which traded 29 futures markets, and replaced it with the IMFC Global Investment program, which trades 47 markets.

In addition, IMFC is planning to launch a Caymans-based version of its Canadian fund, IMFC LP, this summer, and is putting its planned launch of an emerging CTA fund of funds on hold for the time being.

“What we realized was that the Diversified program didn’t have enough diversification,” said Roland Austrup, IMFC’s CEO and CIO.

“The easy money of the 1980s and 1990s managed futures industry has probably come to an end. This is a very mature and professional industry and it’s likely going to require much more risk controls and more unique sources of alpha, and as much diversification as possible.”

The Diversified program finished 2006 down 18.63% and started the year losing another 6.08% in January. The new Global program sports additional markets including five equity indexes, global interest rates, ICE energies, Euronext softs, deferred month contracts on several physical commodities and additional currency crosses. However, its untimely exposure to the equities market in February resulted in a loss of 6.33% for the month followed by a loss of 3.21% in March.

Austrup said the losses were confined to a period between February 27 and March 5 and remains upbeat about the firm’s portfolio going forward.

“We finished March down 3.21% but the reality is from March 5th until month end we were actually up 3.08%. We did not lose any investors as a result of the changeover and, in fact, picked up a new investor who committed US$1 million into our fund, and we’ve got another prospect who’s looking to put money in because of the change,” he said.

This month, the Global program has returned an estimated 7% going into the last week of April and is currently managing US$10.7 million.

The offshore fund was slated to launch at the beginning of the year but was delayed because of unresolved issues like how to link it to the Canadian fund, according to Austrup. 

“The CTA multi-manager fund is something we’re still looking at for the Canadian marketplace, but with all the research we were doing as well as addressing our own lack of performance, it’s just not timely for us to focus on that,” he said.  


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