Eclectica unveils two European funds as legal edict expires

Hugh Hendry, former manager of the Odey Continental European fund, has returned to managing European retail funds with last week’s launch of the Eclectica Continental European and Eclectica European funds.

Having resigned from Odey in February last year, Hendry founded Eclectica Asset Management in September with former colleague Simon Batten.

While running the former Odey Eclectica hedge fund since foundation, an anti-competition clause with Odey has prevented the launch of any European retail funds.

However, as this has expired, Eclectica last week launched the two UK-domiciled Ucits III funds and, according to Batten, former chief executive officer at Odey and now CEO at Eclectica, they have so far taken in 34m.

Hendry managed the Odey Continental European fund for five years, and Batten says the Eclectica fund will be identical in the way it is managed.

Indeed, the primary focus of both funds is capital preservation, with Hendry adopting a heavy top-down macro perspective to identify the appropriate asset classes. Both funds will invest in between 80 and 120 companies.

Batten says: “As was the case at Odey, tactical asset allocation is the dominant mechanism Hugh uses for investing. This means he will continue to put money into cash when he needs to help preserve investors’ capital.”

In addition to launching the two retail funds. Eclectica last week picked up a mandate to run a global portfolio for Belgrave Capital Management. Since October last year, Eclectica has managed a European mandate for Belgrave on a white-label basis, and Batten says the running of the global mandate may yield the launch of a global equity retail fund further down the line.

Hendry and Batten are supported by a team of four at Eclectica, most of whom moved over from Odey. Espen Baardsen, former goalkeeper at Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, has since joined the group as an analyst.

Batten says the pan-European-oriented Eclectica European fund is being promoted predominantly to European clients, while the Continental European fund is being aimed at the British retail market. Both portfolios have a minimum investment of 5,000 and carry an annual management charge of 1.75%.