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Spinnaker Capital portfolio manager Wickens to launch own hedge fund - sources

* To launch EM-focused Broad Reach Investment Management

* Fund to open in Oct/Nov with at least $100 mln

* Spinnaker team posted returns of 21 pct/year over 17 years

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Spinnaker Capital portfolio manager Bradley Wickens is leaving the $1.7 billion emerging markets-focused hedge fund firm to start his own company, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Wickens will launch emerging markets-focused Broad Reach Investment Management with personal funds from two Spinnaker partners and trade across a range of assets as part of a “global macro” strategy, two sources said.

The firm will start with a small team of former colleagues from Spinnaker as well as some new staff, one of the sources said, and debut in October or November with at least $100 million in assets, two sources said.

Wickens joined Spinnaker in 1999 and went on to lead the $1 billion Spinnaker Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Fund when he was appointed portfolio manager in 2012. He will still remain invested in the fund, two sources said.

During his 17-year tenure at Spinnaker, the GEM Fund returned an annualised 21 percent. “The track record is fantastic,” a third, investment banking source said.

Founding principal Alexis Habib will take over portfolio management of the GEM Fund after Wickens’ departure, a source close to the firm told Reuters.

Broad Reach will debut against a backdrop of increasingly tough regulations and weakening markets that have hampered hedge fund launches. Just 14 opened with more than $100 million in 2015, data from industry tracker Preqin showed. (Editing by Mark Potter)

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