Woman-Owned Firm Opens Fund To Outside Investors

Dec 15 2005 | 10:32pm ET

Reservoir Investment Partners has recently opened up its Reservoir Fund, a multi-strategy fund-of-hedge funds launched in April of this year, to outside investors.

Kelly Gasink, portfolio manager of the fund, said she is targeting high-net-worth individuals and family offices, but that she is seeing interest from institutional investors who have a mandate to hire women- and minority-owned management firms.

"One of the most startling lessons I have learned is how few women there are in this industry," said Gasink, who is based in San Francisco. But she doesn't think that she has been treated differently because she is a woman. "The industry is based on a meritocracy, and I haven't had any problems because of my gender," she said, though she would like to see more women enter the hedge fund space.

According to Gasink, Reservoir's goals include limiting downside exposure, keeping volatility low (less than half that of the Standard & Poor's 500), exhibiting minor correlation to the broader markets and achieving 8-12% returns for the year. "We are on track to achieve that," she said. "Our fund was actually up 1% in April, which was a bad month [for hedge funds]," said Gasink, adding that the fund was up over 2% in August —a bad month for fund-of-funds and the broader market —and was down a mere 0.5% in October, by far the toughest month for the industry. "While we always prefer up months, the decline of only 50 basis points in that environment, we thought, was a very good affirmation of our downside management."

Gasink, who has a Masters in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, said the fund has under $24 million in assets under management and predominantly invests with between 6-12 managers.

"We would have to have a very compelling reason to go above 15," she said. "This threshold is based on my personal view that the marginal diversifications benefits above 15 diminish exponentially and potentially begin to invert."

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