BlackRock's Event-Driven Hedge Fund Launches with $270M in AUM

Sep 2 2015 | 8:31pm ET

It may seem an inauspicious time to be starting a new event-driven hedge fund, but that is exactly what BlackRock's Mark McKenna is doing.

The former Harvard Management Company executive joined BlackRock in June 2014 as global head of event-driven equity strategies. The fund, which has been in the works for some time, is named Global Event Partners and will seek to capitalize on corporate events like takeovers, divestitures, mergers and management changes. It will reportedly invest 80 percent of capital in stocks and the rest in credit-based instruments.

The vehicle began trading in June and had $270 million in assets in July, according to a Bloomberg article citing an investor presentation. 

BlackRock has been steadily expanding its alternatives business in recent years as a way to offer investors less correlation with traditional stock and bond markets, as well as to generate more fee-based income. In aggregate, the company’s hedge funds accounted for $31 billion of the firm’s $4.72 trillion in assets as of June 30, according to Bloomberg, while alternative assets in general account for more than $120 billion. 

McKenna joined Harvard Management Co. in 2009, co-founding and managing the endowment’s event-driven strategies. A former naval officer, he previously spent six years at hedge Caxton Associates and worked in M&A for Citigroup.

According to the presentation Bloomberg referenced, the new fund was down around 3.9% as of the second quarter. It will charge a 1.5% management fee, and the firm can take 20% percent of profits with no hurdle.

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