BlueCrest eyes $235 mln for new BlueTrend fund

LONDON Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:42am EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - BlueCrest Capital Management, one of Europe's biggest hedge fund firms, is looking to raise more than 150 million pounds for a new listed feeder fund into its computer-driven BlueTrend fund, a source familiar with the matter said.

The closed-end fund, BlueCrest BlueTrend, will feed into the firm's main BlueTrend fund, the company said in a statement. BlueTrend manages $13.6 billion (8.7 billion pounds) in assets and was one of the hedge fund industry's top performers during the financial crisis in 2008.

The computer-driven unit, which is headed by Brazilian-born Leda Braga, the firm's media-shy head of systematic trading, competes with the likes of Man Group's (EMG.L) AHL unit and Winton Capital's Futures fund.

So-called managed futures funds try to make money by latching onto trends in global futures markets.

BlueTrend was one of the few hedge funds to profit in a dire 2008 for the industry, gaining 42.8 percent. Last year it made 0.1 percent, while the average hedge fund lost 5.02 percent, according to Hedge Fund Research. Winton Capital's main fund gained 6.3 percent last year while AHL lost 6.4 percent.

The main BlueTrend fund has been shut to new investors for the past 18 months, but the feeder is being launched after BlueCrest created extra capacity by enhancing the main fund's computer systems.

In 2010, BlueCrest shut a EU-regulated Ucits version of BlueTrend due to its inability to replicate sufficiently the performance of the main offshore fund.

BlueCrest was set up by Mike Platt and William Reeves in 2000 and now manages around $28.6 billion in assets. The firm is headquartered in Guernsey, while the bulk of its traders sit in London and Geneva.

Dexion Capital is advising BlueCrest on the planned flotation.

(Editing by Sinead Cruise and Jane Merriman)

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