* To be one of Europe’s most high-profile 2015 launches
* Dale made $450 mln for Millennium during stint there
* Fund aims to return 10-15 pct a year net of fees (Adds detail, background)
By Nishant Kumar and Simon Jessop
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - A European hedge fund being launched by one of the sector’s most successful managers plans to start operating in May after luring at least $200 million in capital, sources familiar with the matter said, reflecting strong demand from investors.
Chris Dale, who says his fund made $450 million trading long-short equities over nine years at Millennium, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds, will target long-term investments in large European stocks, a presentation by his new fund, dubbed Kintbury, showed.
After a relatively quiet 2014 for large European launches, 2015 has already seen several industry figures look to strike out on their own, including ex-Lansdowne Partners’ partner Stephen Kirk, who plans a summer launch.
Leading a small team including ex-Millennium colleague Nick Xanders, Dale aims to achieve net annualised returns of between 10 and 15 percent by trading in companies with stock market values of more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), the presentation seen by Reuters showed.
While at Millennium, Dale made 10.9 percent a year in a fund that had $1.1 billion in assets at its peak. In the three months to May, just before he left Millennium, however, Dale posted a loss of just over 9 percent pre-fees, the presentation showed.
Kintbury had been due to launch in the first quarter but would now likely be ready for launch on May 1, sources said.
Three sources said total assets would be at least $200 million. Initial investors in a hedge fund start-up tend to include the partners themselves as well as high net-worth individuals and pension funds, all looking for higher returns at a time of rock-bottom interest rates.
Calls to Dale and emailed messages to Xanders and Kintbury’s chief operating officer, John Aves, remained unanswered.
The fund will analyse stocks and management to hunt out companies with an improving cashflow model, better return on capital employed, a better strategic or competitive advantage and which are growing earnings and receiving positive analyst earnings revisions, the presentation document said.
It will typically have between 25 and 35 open positions at any time and a maximum exposure to any one stock of 5 percent of gross capital. The top five positions betting on a stock price rising can make up to 40 percent of its total exposure.
Funds like Kintbury, so-called long/short equity hedge funds which bet on stock prices either rising or falling, have started strongly in 2015, returning just over 4 percent in the first two months of the year after losing 0.3 percent in 2014, data from tracker Eurekahedge has shown. ($1 = 0.9315 euros) (Editing by Sinead Cruise and David Holmes)