Highland Capital Creating Dedicated Liquid Alts Platform

Mar 20 2015 | 3:21pm ET

Highland Capital Management is adding some internal structure to its growing liquid alternatives business. The Dallas-based asset manager plans to announce the formation of Highland Alternative Investors, a dedicated platform on which the company’s existing liquid alternative investment products can reside, according to media reports. 

Michael Gregory, who has been leading the charge within Highland to create a dedicated platform better able to better position the company’s liquid alternative funds, will become global head and chief investment officer of the unit.

In addition to the traditional distribution channels like wire houses and broker-dealers already in place, Highland plans on increasing visibility of its products among RIAs, a sector whose interest in liquid alts has blossomed in recent years. 

Highland has six liquid alternative funds that have grown aggregate AUM from about $1.5 billion five years ago to $5 billion now. Three of the funds – including the Highland Long/Short Healthcare Fund (HHCZX) managed by Gregory – have been recent top performers in their respective categories.

While the move will have no direct impact on investors in the funds, it clearly signals Highland’s recognition of the importance of liquid alternatives. In addition to raising the profile and distribution of Highland’s existing liquid alt funds, Highland believes it will be easier to launch additional liquid alternative products with this platform in place.

Founded by James Dondero in 1990, Highland Capital has about $20 billion in assets under management. 

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