Merger reduces Crosby funds to one

Crosby Asset Management (CAM) has only one fund left in its range after a series of closures of the funds bought through its takeover of Forsyth Partners.

Trevor Wells, CAM’s UK head of compliance, says the firm has suspended and is likely to close Alternative Income, Alternative Strate­- gies, Diversity and Leveraged Diver­sity – all funds of hedge funds – after heavy losses for the business in 2008.

“The funds are suspended at the moment due to liquidity issues,” says Wells. “We have seen redemption requests, and some of the underlying hedge funds [the funds] invest in have closed.”

Tom McGrath, Steve Brann and Craig Wetton were running other funds in the Crosby Forsyth range alongside Alan Butterly, the only original Forsyth manager still with CAM. Most of their funds ceased trading late last year, including Forsyth Global Emerging Markets and Indian Opportunities.

McGrath and his team continue to oversee the only remaining Crosby Forsyth vehicle, Managed Balanced, which has about $30m (£21m) under management. “Managed Balanced is the only fund left in the Crosby Forsyth range,” Wells says. “Redemp­tions have not been as heavy and there is still sufficient liquidity in the fund to maintain it. It does not meet the grounds for ­closure, it can still operate, but it is under review.”

McGrath’s main focus is the fledgling Apollo Multi-Asset Management boutique, a joint venture backed by Crosby and all that remains of its investment management business.

In the year-end results released last week, Simon Fry, Crosby’s chief executive said 2008 was challenging for the firm. At the end of December, total assets under management had fallen from $2.5 billion (£1.8 billion) to $500m, and losses totalled $56.5m.

“Our timing for the acquisition [of Forsyth Partners] was far from ideal and as the global financial markets continued to deteriorate in the first’quarter of 2008, the company’s focus shifted from trying to revive Forsyth to limiting the operating losses and closing those funds which were uneconomical,” Fry said.

In the second half of last year, Crosby closed the Forsyth range of Ucits and hybrid funds and sold the international research and ratings service to Old Broad Street Research. Fry says he is disappointed by the results, but adds that the group will try to reduce its ­liabilities and rebuild the business to return value to shareholders.