Kepler Partners with Zebra Capital for New Beta-Neutral UCITS Fund

Jul 11 2016 | 9:55pm ET

Boutique asset accumulator Kepler Partners has raised $81 million for a new UCITS-compliant fund launched in partnership with Roger Ibbotson’s Zebra Capital Management.

The new fund, named the KLS Zebra Global Equity Beta Neutral, is the first sub-fund of Kepler’s Dublin-based liquid strategies ICAV, and will mirror Zebra’s existing offshore hedge fund.

Zebra’s fund is a beta-neutral strategy that targets net returns of 7-8% per annum and volatility of 5-6% through a given market cycle. Anchored on the firm’s proprietary “popularity factor” theory that holds fundamentally strong but unpopular stocks tend to outperform fundamentally weak but popular ones over time, the portfolio typically carries 650 long and 450 short equity positions. It has an management fee of 1% and a performance fees of 10%.

“Kepler has raised $1.3 billion for UCITS fund clients since 2010,” said Laurie Robathan, head of sales at Kepler Partners, in a statement. “After biding our time for some years, it is exciting to have now made the logical step into this space by launching our own dedicated UCITS platform.”

“We have a current estimated capacity of around $500 million, and the platform is completely dependent upon further strategies that we may launch further down the line,” Robathan added.

Kepler Partners is an independent advisor and asset gatherer focused on investment trusts and UCITS-compliant absolute return funds.

Zebra Capital Management, meanwhile, was founded in 2001 by Roger Ibbotson, It is a SEC registered independent investment manager focused on equity-focused investment strategies. Ibbotson, professor emeritus of finance at Yale University, has combined leading-edge research and scientific methods with decades of direct trading, risk management, and operational experience. The firm’s strategies seek to generate superior performance without incurring additional volatility.

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