Exclusive: Blackstone to launch hedge fund platform Senfina in Britain

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of the Blackstone Group, speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong October 26, 2012. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

LONDON (Reuters) - Blackstone Group BX.N is planning to bring its multi-manager hedge fund platform Senfina Advisors to Britain, three sources with direct knowledge of the move told Reuters.

The platform, which allows investors to access a number of underlying hedge fund managers, was launched in the United States in 2014 and had almost $2 billion in assets under management last month, the first source told Reuters.

The move follows a strong performance for Senfina last year. It rose 23 percent between January and November, the first source said, while hedge funds rose 0.27 percent on average over the same period, data from Hedge Fund Research shows.

In preparation for the British launch, the date of which has yet to be decided, two of the sources said that Blackstone is in the process of searching for portfolio managers.

Senfina provides investors with exclusive access to a range of underlying portfolio managers, who are employed by their respective firms, and charges a basic annual fee of up to 2 percent based on average assets under management.

The managers’ trading ideas are assessed centrally by Blackstone before the firm allocates money to invest.

In addition to the basic fee, investors pay for trading and other costs, plus a performance fee on profits between 15 percent and 20 percent, SEC filings show.

By launching in London Blackstone will join rivals such as U.S. peer Millennium Management and Sweden’s Brummer & Partners in developing a British base for its hedge fund platform.

Senfina forms part of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, which had $68 billion under management at Sept. 30, 2015, its website said.

Editing by David Goodman