BlackRock launches event-driven equity fund

BlackRock has launched its first UCITS-compliant event-driven equity fund in Europe.

The Global Event Driven fund, which is available on the firm’s Strategic Funds platform, will invest in equity securities across different corporate events such as mergers, spin offs and restructurings.

The fund will be managed by event-driven strategies expert Mark McKenna who has been heading the event-driven equity team at BlackRock for a year. The team already manages a US event-driven mutual fund.

McKenna will use long, synthetic long and synthetic short investment strategies across different industries and sectors in developed markets. 

He says: “The opportunity set for event-driven strategies is highly robust. Driven by tepid organic growth, peak margins and high corporate cash balances, CEOs are compelled to pursue strategic imperatives to drive shareholder value.

“This has already resulted in a bumper year for M&A activity in 2015 and we believe high levels of all corporate activity across the event catalyst spectrum will continue, providing opportunities to exploit the value gap created from these transformative corporate events.” 

McKenna’s team will use BlackRock’s global investment platform as well as the firm’s proprietary risk management platform, Aladdin, to generate alpha. 

Sheryl Needham, managing director at BlackRock Alternatives Specialists in Europe, adds: “Investors are increasingly demanding all-weather investment solutions that provide a different set of returns to equities and bonds, reduce portfolio volatility and offer downside protection. This event-driven fund provides investors with exposure to a large, global investable universe that is designed to promote an uncorrelated return profile.”

The fund’s ongoing charges are set at 1.45 per cent.