Value Line Funds to buy Alpha Defensive Alternatives Fund: filing

BOSTON (Reuters) - Value Line Funds plans to buy the Alpha Defensive Alternatives Fund, according to a recent regulatory filing, taking a first step into the growing investment sphere of alternative funds that are cheaper and designed for retail clients.

Value Line, which is well-known for its stock and mutual fund research and has offered mutual funds since 1950, plans to integrate Alpha Capital’s $20 million Alpha Defensive Alternative Fund into its lineup of more than a dozen funds which jointly oversee roughly $2.2 billion in assets.

Alternative investments for retail clients, often called liquid alternatives or liquid alts, have become increasingly popular as investors worry that plain stock and bond investments will not carry them through retirement and demand more access to hedge fund-like strategies.

Shareholders will vote on the proposed deal on June 10, 2016, the filing said.

Bradley Alford, who runs Alpha Capital and previously worked at the Duke Endowment, will continue to manage the fund, the filing said. The news was first reported by Investment News.

Since January the Alpha Defensive Alternatives Fund has returned nearly 1 percent, performing modestly better than the Standard & Poor’s 500 index which is roughly flat for the year.

The Alpha Defensive Alternatives Fund is a tiny player in an asset segment where the Blackstone Alternative Multi-Strategy fund is the biggest player with $4.2 billion in assets.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Matthew Lewis