Sloane Robinson Sees Further Losses As Rejig Nears

Dec 21 2012 | 10:19am ET

Planned changes can't come fast enough for Sloane Robinson as the hedge fund limps towards a second straight down year.

Firm co-founder Richard Chenevix-Trench, who had planned to take a six month "recharge" beginning in March, has decided he can't afford the time away. One of Chenevix-Trench's two funds, an Asia-focused vehicle, is to close next year and the other, an emerging-markets vehicle, will expand its remit to include global stocks.

The latter fund, London-based Sloane Robinson's flagship, lost 17.2% last year and is down 1.7% this year, Reuters reports. Assets have fallen by more than half this year, to US$700 million.

"Emerging market investment, as in so much of the world, has become about a search for niches of growth, where businesses can find room to develop irrespective of the slowing economies and still meet or exceed the expectations currently baked into prices," Chenevix-Trench wrote to investors.

The restructuring of Sloane Robinson, which will also include the launch of a new emerging-markets fund and the end of co-founder Hugh Sloane's tenure as CEO, is hoped to revive the firm's flagging fortunes. Assets under management have dwindled from US$15.1 billion in 2008 to US$2.5 billion today, and its emerging-markets strategy isn't the only one that is suffering.

Sloane's International Portfolio is on pace to suffer its third-straight losing year, down 6.2% through November. And though its smaller funds, Frontier and Japan, are up by double-digits this year, they remain in the red since inception.

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