Another in a wave of new hedge-fund-style mutual funds will offer retail investors access to alternative strategies. Van Eck
’s Multi-Manager Alternatives Fund
(VMAXX), launched June 5, provides a multi-manger approach and invests in a blend of open-end and closed-end funds as well as ETFs in order to seek consistent absolute returns. According to Van Eck, the fund is the latest in over 80 hedge-style mutual fund offerings currently available in the U.S.
The fund's benchmark is the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index (HFRXGL). Explorer Alternative Management
, a manager research group, serves as a sub-advisor to the fund and will assist in determining the funds allocation among other sub-advisors as well as underlying funds. The fund will maintain an investable list of over 200 managers and 100 funds.
The fund will be available in A and I shares with estimated gross expenses of 3.53% and 3.28%, respectively. Expenses will be capped at 2.40% and 2.15% through April 30, 2010.
The WSJ gave some coverage to the fund on Tuesday, and noted the recent trend of the mutual fund industry capitalizing on the perceived weaknesses of traditional hedge funds- namely, liquidity and transparency concerns.
Van Eck Launches Multi-Manager Alternatives Mutual Fund; Designed for Retail Investors Seeking Exposure to Hedge-Style Investment Strategies
Builds on firm’s experience in multi-manager products
NEW YORK, (June 23, 2009) – Van Eck Global is building on its experience in developing and managing multi-strategy, multi-manager investment products with the launch of its new Van Eck Multi-Manager Alternatives Fund (ticker: VMAAX), an open-end mutual fund designed to give investors exposure to a variety of investment strategies, including absolute return strategies. This launch was a natural fit for Van Eck, as the firm has been managing a similar strategy for over six years as an investment option for variable life and variable annuity insurance contracts.
In announcing the Fund, Harvey Hirsch, senior vice president of marketing at Van Eck, noted that the global financial crisis has made it increasingly clear that a well-allocated portfolio should include exposure to more alternative, hedge-style strategies. The firm anticipates that the new fund will appeal to both individual and institutional investors who want access to the potential benefits of alternative investing but with lower costs and greater transparency and liquidity as compared to an investment in a private hedge fund.
“This fund may give investors access to sophisticated asset management strategies in a single portfolio, providing diversification, hedging potential, and in some cases, it may capitalize on market dislocations as they develop globally,” said Hirsch.
Though interest in alternative strategies has grown significantly over the past decade, the asset class has generally been inaccessible to the average retail investor. High net worth requirements, a general lack of transparency, and concerns over liquidity and long lock-up periods have kept many investors on the sidelines. By way of contrast, the new Van Eck fund offers daily liquidity, no net worth restrictions, a high degree of transparency and daily net
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asset valuation. The fund must also adhere to same SEC regulations that apply to all similarly situated open-end mutual funds.
VMAAX’s multi-manager approach allows for a diversified mix of sub-advisors, open- and closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as its underlying investments. It seeks to achieve consistent absolute (positive) returns in various market cycles. The Fund can employ both arbitrage and directional long/short strategies, among others. Arbitrage strategies seek to exploit pricing discrepancies between closely related securities and can focus on fixed income, credit, convertibles and an equity market-neutral approach, while directional strategies seek to benefit from broad trends in equities, interest rates or commodity prices.
In identifying and selecting available managers for the Fund, Van Eck relies upon its own in-house expertise as well as research from Explorer Alternative Management, a dedicated manager research group with an extensive database of managers and hedge-style funds.
"We are excited to assist in the due diligence and manager selection for such an innovative investment product,” said Stephen Scott, partner at Explorer Alternative Management. “As the investment industry continues to evolve, we believe Van Eck is uniquely positioned to provide mutual fund investors with the benefits of alternative manager performance."
The Fund will be available in two share classes: A (VMAAX) and I (VMAIX). Minimum investment is $5,000 for A shares. Estimated gross expenses for the Fund are 3.53% for A shares and 3.28% for I shares. Expenses are capped at 2.40% and 2.15%, respectively.
Please carefully read the prospectus for additional Fund information and contact a sales specialist at 800.826.2333 for more information.
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