Philly Shop Plants Environmental Fund Of Hedge Funds

Oct 26 2007 | 11:09am ET

FIS Group, a $2 billion Philadelphia-based consulting and traditional asset management shop, is making its first foray into the hedge fund space via an environmental fund of hedge funds. The firm is currently prepping the Eden Global Fund for launch sometime in the first quarter with some $50 million in seed capital from institutional investors.

Nick Kinney, vice president of sales and marketing for the firm, said that FIS has started one of just two global funds of hedge funds focused exclusively on the environmental area. “Other than convincing somebody to go into cleantech directly, there isn’t another mechanism for it. So we thought it would be a great opportunity to provide a fund of funds operating in this area.”

The Eden Fund will allocate 60% of its portfolio to carbon origination and trading, 30% to water strategies and about 10% to clean technology and sustainable energy. “Right now, the carbon market is dominating the high alpha that’s coming out of the environmental space,” said Kinney.

Private equity investors need not feel left out: The fund sports a 10% to 20% side pocket for private equity investments. The fund will invest in nine to 12 underlying managers and has a capacity of $500 million. Roger Kenyon is the portfolio manager for the new offering.

The Carbon fund charges 1.5% for management and 10% for performance, with a $5 million minimum investment requirement for institutional investors.

FIS was founded by Tina Byles Williams, a former senior consultant at pension investment consulting firm WHP Inc., in February 1996. Before joining WHP in 1994, she served as chief investment officer of the City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement.

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