Salus Alpha brings hedge funds to Asia

Swiss alternative fund manager Salus Alpha is touring the region with its managed futures and commodity arbitrage funds.

Swiss firm Salus Alpha has been touring Asia recently with its portfolio of Ucits-compliant hedge funds, hoping to win allocations from the region's investors.

"We've been receiving a good reception in Asia from sovereigns and funds of funds," says Oliver Prock, Zug-based chief executive and chief investment officer of the $1 billion fund.

The two funds Salus expects to be the most attractive to investors are its two biggest: Salus Alpha Commodity Arbitrage and Salus Alpha Directional Markets, a managed futures product.

Unlike a lot of managed futures funds, the latter strategy managed 1% positive returns last year due to maintaining low net exposure and keeping risk under control. The fund was up 0.6% and has a maximum sales fee of 5.55%, a redemption fee of 4.45% and a management fee of 2.5%.

Salus Alpha Commodity Arbitrage is a market-neutral, soft commodity-focused fund that shorts short-term contracts and goes long long-term contracts to take advantage of contango environments (when delivery prices for futures exceed spot prices). This fund, which fell 1.8% last year, has a sales and redemption fee of 6% maximum, a 2.5% management fee and a 20% performance fee.

All Salus Alpha's funds have been Ucits-compliant since that designation came into being in 2007. For example, the managed futures fund is $200 million in size and it has a $50 million Ucits component.

"We have been getting a positive response from Asian investors about Ucits," says Gunther Schneider, head of global business development at Salus Alpha. "They like the legal framework and the daily liquidity."

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