Excalibur Funds Management, the Australian macro hedge fund which specialises in foreign exchange, is making plans for expansion.
It comes as the Japanese yen is devaluing, and follows the formalisation of a deal this month that enables direct convertibility between the Chinese yuan and Australian dollar.
Excalibur plans to make its Global Macro Program available through a Cayman fund by the second or third quarter of this year, according to Adriana Kostov, the firm’s director of compliance and general counsel. “Quite a few Asian investors have been interested in the fund,” she suggests.
It is intended to provide overseas investors with a different means of gaining exposure to Excalibur’s program, which has been running since 2006 and returned 8.6% last year. It focuses on G10 currencies, with a specialisation in Australian dollar crosses.
At the moment, Excalibur’s investors – mostly based in the US and Europe, with some Asian clientele – are in separately managed accounts. Its clients include sovereign wealth funds, pension firms and family offices.
The strategy is also in the process of being on-boarded to the Morgan Stanley FX Gateway – a global multi-manager platform of foreign exchange strategies.
Kostov declined to give an AUM figure for the macro program, although fund databases put it at about $50 million.
Last year, Excalibur appointed Ashley Chan as its New York-based chief operating officer, who is overseeing the firm’s expansion in the US and Europe.
Last year it also appointed a Shanghai-based representative to develop relationships on the mainland as the market gradually opens to enable foreign hedge fund managers to operate strategies onshore.
“We feel that this is a natural way to grow our business,” says Kostov.
The wider Asia region is viewed by Excalibur as a strong growth area, as “many of the large Asian institutions are looking at hedging their currency exposures and also gaining access to the Australian market”, she says.