Windy City Introducing Broker Launches CTA Fund Of Funds

Jun 8 2007 | 11:29am ET

Chicago-based VanKar Trading, an introducing brokerage firm, is launching a commodity trading advisor fund of funds this summer with some $20 million in assets. The tentatively-named Abacus Global Tactical Asset Fund will invest in eight to 10 trading advisors via its quantitative model.

The offering was originally slated to launch last October but suffered delays because its seed investor, a family office, “wanted a few changes, so we set up a different offshore fund for them as well as some other things,” said a source familiar with the initiative. 

Now that the hurdles have been overcome, VanKar is set to offer what it deems as a “unique model” for investors wanting a taste of the managed futures industry. The fund of fund’s Abacus Model ranks 300 CTAs and selects the top 10 ranking traders. Its portfolio composition is re-evaluated every three months and each CTA is held until its rank falls below a predefined threshold whereby it is then replaced with the next highest-ranking CTA.

“If you’re looking for a diversified CTA fund that has a successful plan for reinvesting in different CTAs on an ongoing basis, then this is it,” said the source.

Trading advisors must have a two-year track record with “substantiated” assets under management to be considered for the portfolio.

The fund of fund’s fee and term structures could not be obtained by press time.

Emil Van Essen and John Karvelas co-founded VanKar in 2001. Van Essen, a former director of quantitative futures analysis for Refco Global, also launched a separate CTA, dubbed the Emil Van Essen Spread Trading program, in January. The $1.7 million diversified futures program, which is up an estimated 71.32% through May, will not be included in the Abacus Fund because of its short track record.


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