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Alternative investment: Henderson beefs up for US hedge fund market

Henderson Global Investors wants to be taken more seriously in the hedge fund market. The firm launched its first hedge fund in 1999 – a global tech long/short fund – and now runs $2.5 billion in 15 funds. To build the business further, Henderson has been recruiting distribution talent from hedge funds and is ready to attack the US market.

“We were among the first traditional asset managers to run a hedge fund but at the time it was more of an opportunistic approach. It wasn’t until the end of 2004 that we took a strategic view and made hedge funds a line of business,” says Kate O’Neill, director of hedge funds at Henderson. “But our early start has meant that our managers do not have a long-only mentality, and that we have been able to build up a distribution channel.”

The firm’s investors are high net-worth clients, family offices, funds of hedge funds, and, more recently, institutions. These have predominantly been based in the UK and Switzerland but Henderson is now trying to build its client base in the US. “We’ve always had US clients but now we have a broad enough suite of products to merit a dedicated person based in the US,” says Alistair Barrie, global head of hedge fund sales.

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