Morley Fund Management – the fund management arm of UK insurer Aviva, owner of Commercial Union and Norwich Union – has launched a hedge fund managed and invested in Poland.
The Central European Long Short Fund will be managed by Morley’s Warsaw-based investment office, Commercial Union Investment Management Polska (CUIM Polska), which manages EUR2.1 billion of assets.
Rafal Janczyk, head of equities at CUIM Polska, will manage the new fund. He currently manages a number of Polish equity funds on behalf of CUIM Polska clients including life funds and mutual funds.
The Commercial Union Polish equity mutual fund has delivered an annualised return of 37.4% compared with Warsaw Stock Exchange 20 Index (WIG-20) return of 12.7% since launch in April 2002 (Source: Standard & Poors).
The Central European Long Short fund will initially invest in Polish equities, but may also expand to include investments in other Central European markets.
Morley began marketing the Fund in November 2004 for launch in February 2005 and aims to raise EUR120 million. The fund is open to European institutional investors and high net worth individuals and will be denominated in euros, with shares available for issue in euros, US dollars and pounds.
“The EU accession earlier this year has resulted in increased investor interest in Central European economies,” says Ian Ainscow, head of international business development at Morley Fund Management. “The launch of the Aviva Funds Central European long short fund allows Morley to offer clients access to the skills we have built in Warsaw in the last seven years. We have seen increased demand for alternative investment products and the launch of this fund offers new diversification possibilities to a range of sophisticated investors.”