Julius Baer offers agriculture fund

Julius Baer is launching an offshore agriculture fund to British investors, giving access to commodity companies and indices.

The fund invests in products and services related to food, fertilisers and biofuels, and the manager says he expects investors to benefit from increasing demand for agricultural products.

Sabre Mayhugh, the co-fund manager, says in a release: “The increased demand for grain, meat products, fertiliser and biofuels, largely as a result of a higher standard of living in the developing countries, makes a convincing argument for investing in the agriculture sector, especially at current prices. A rising global population, climate change and a reduction in arable land has created a bottleneck in the agricultural sector and related industries.

“As a result, a premium value will be assigned to those companies that can increase the agricultural yield of the world’s finite resources.”

He runs the fund on an outsourced basis from the Wellington Management Company based in Boston, beside Belinda Cavazos, the co-manager. They aim to hold 75% in equities and 25% in commodity securities and indices. It mirrors a Luxembourg-domiciled fund which was launched in June 2008.

The launch follows those of a biotech fund, a convertible bond fund and absolute return range as the Swiss wealth manager widens its distribution to British retail investors.

The fund launches today and carries a management fee of 1.6%.

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