Lazard launches US long-short equity fund

USA-America-New-York-NYC-Statue-of-Liberty-700x450.jpgLazard Asset Management has launched a Ucits version of its US long-short equity fund.

The Ucits-compliant US Fundamental Alternative fund will take long positions in equities in companies with strong financial productivity as well as short positions in those with unattractive valuations and deteriorating fundamentals.

The fund will be managed in New York by portfolio managers Dmitri Batsev and Jerry Liu who lead Lazard’s US equity investment team. The duo also manage the existing Lazard Fundamental Long/Short strategy, on which the new fund is based.

“In our view it is financial productivity that ultimately drives the valuation of companies,” says Batsev. “We believe that forward-looking fundamental analysis is key to valuing these opportunities, both when stocks rise and when stocks fall.”

The existing Lazard Fundamental Long/Short strategy has delivered a 11.2 per cent net return compared to the HFRI Equity Hedge (Total) Index return of 5.9 per cent over the past three years, the firm said.

Liu adds: “Expanding the US opportunity set to both longs and shorts allows us to create a differentiated portfolio of investments, seeking to provide investors with strong down-market protection, up-market participation, and lower volatility than the overall market.”

Charges for the new fund were not immediately available.

In October last year, Lazard also launched a European long-short fund for ex-Henderson manager Léopold Arminjon, aiming to profit from the European recovery.

As of 30 September 2015 the Lazard Group managed £269bn of client assets.