Wessex Asset Management will close its three hedge funds after their assets dwindled from more than US$600 million to about US$20 million.
The London-based firm, which was founded in 1999 by a pair of Abbey Life veterans, has also suffered double-digit losses in all three of the funds this year. Its flagship Asia-Pacific Fund is down 27% this year, and its other two funds have done even worse: Its Natural Resources Fund is down 34% and its Gold Fund 37%, Reuters reports.
"Our funds are now too small to have any realistic prospect of growing back to critical mass, so the directors have no option other than to close the Wessex Asia-Pacific Fund, Wessex Natural Resources Fund and Wessex Gold Fund," the firm told investors yesterday. Asia-Pacific, which once managed US$270 million, now has just US$11 million in assets, while Natural Resources has dropped from US$330 million to US$6 million and Gold from US$50 million to US$3 million.
"We still believe in value investing in Asia, in the commodity super-cycle and the gold bull market, but value investors need longer holding periods than are allowed to small hedge funds in these markets," Wessex complained.
Wessex has eight employees in London and Bournemouth, including founders Peter Chesterfield and Tim Weir.