Shares in the Strategic Growth Fund were suspended on 25 February and this was confirmed to investors in a letter sent on 28 March by Guernsey based fund administrators Fund Corporation. Investors were told that due to “a high level of redemption requests being placed by investors”, shares in the fund had been suspended.
The letter gave no explanation as to why there had been a sudden upsurge in the number of redemptions but did say that “unfortunately, as there are a number of illiquid investments in the [fund], settlement of all requested redemptions would have unfairly disadvantaged the remaining investors”.
In the same letter, investors were also informed that Swiss-based United Asset Management is to be removed as the fund’s investment adviser from 25 May. UAM is also being removed as adviser of The Diversified Emerging Markets Fund, a fund which is also administered by Guernsey based Fund Corporation and domiciled in Mauritius.
The letter did not give a reason for the termination of UAM’s contract as asset manager and a spokesperson for Fund Corporation declined to comment on the matter.
The spokesperson recommended International Adviser contact fund manager Lancelot Management or UAM for comment but did not provide contact details. United Asset Management website does not provide a phone number on its “contact us” page.
The Strategic Growth Fund was first launched with a dollar share class in September 2007, with sterling and euro share classes added in March 2008 and February 2009 respectively.
According to a fund factsheet from 31 January, the fund’s objective is to “achieve steady long term capital growth”, it adds that “the potential for capital growth may be reduced by the need to provide a slightly higher level of stability”.
One of the directors of the fund told IA that he was not comfortable disclosing what assets were held within the portfolio, only that they were a “mixture of liquid and less liquid assets”.
According to the factsheet, which names Philip Rose as the manager, “key holdings” included Artemis Income, BlackRock UK Special Situations, GAM UK Diversified, Invesco Perpetual UK and Kwanda Africa Growth Fund.
The same factsheet also provides performance data for each of the fund’s currency share classes. In the year the fund was originally launched, 2007, it lost 4.81% and the following year the fund fell a further 21.87%.
In 2009 and 2010 the fund managed to make positive returns, chalking up 18.41% and 1.71% respectively. In 2011 and 2012, performance slumped again, with the fund falling 0.54% and 4.21%. In the first month of this year the fund returned 0.93%.