5 October 2005
Rasmala Hedge Fund Strategies, Ltd, launched on 1st of June 2005, has had a good start with the fund posting high net returns compared to the broad investable indices in its first three months. The fund has already attracted institutional investors from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi. The Multi-Manager, Multi-Strategy Fund of Hedge Funds is aimed at institutions and UHNWI’s that are looking to invest in a relatively focused portfolio of hedge funds. The strategy entails investing in 15 to 25 underlying hedge fund managers who are of institutional quality and who have terms that are not geared towards the more retail market. The strategy targets absolute returns in the region of USD LIBOR + 4% to 6% per annum with a risk target of 4% to 7%.
Eric Swats, Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Rasmala’s Asset Management business states “our Investment approach combines a top-down review of the expected future conditions for each of the hedge fund strategies and a bottom-up appraisal of the managers in those strategies”.
Mr. Swats adds “at Rasmala Investments, we structure customized solutions for our clients depending upon their particular investment objectives. We have found that our clients tend to gravitate to either LIBOR plus or globally diversified investment strategies”. Today, Rasmala’s flagship products include a LIBOR Plus Portfolio, a Global Diversified Portfolio and the Rasmala Hedge Fund Strategies, Ltd.
Rasmala was founded in 1999, with the establishment of the Rasmala Fund LP, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in the Middle Eastern financial services sector. In late 2002, Rasmala developed into ‘Rasmala Investments’ an Investment Bank focused on delivering best-in-class products and services to Middle Eastern clients. Eric Swats says “in addition to our asset management offering, we also source and structure innovative and high quality investment opportunities in the GCC and other Arab markets in real estate, private equity and regional capital markets”.
Rasmala shareholders include a top German Bank, one of the largest Saudi banks, and several prominent Saudi & UAE investors.
“With offices in Dubai, Amman and London we are able to reach out to our core client base of institutions and private clients effectively. The partners of the firm are actively involved in the marketing process and our shareholders serve as effective referral agents. We find this formula to be ideal for the markets we are active in” says Mr. Swats.
Mr. Swats adds: “for the more retail market, it is our view that forging alliances with local banks in the various markets is the most effective way to distribute investment products. Such a configuration would combine our advanced technology and operations platform, and our investment process, with a recognisable brand name in the respective local markets”.