June 18, 2019 / 1:43 PM / 6 months ago

JPMorgan to convert Highbridge multi-strategy fund into credit fund

BOSTON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to convert its $2 billion Highbridge multi-strategy fund into a credit-focused fund as the bull market shows signs of slowing and clients want to invest elsewhere, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

The Highbridge fund, which is available to institutional and wealthy private investors, is part of JP Morgan’s $150 billion global alternatives business, which offers real estate, private equity, credit, infrastructure and hedge fund portfolios.

As part of the change, one of the four lead portfolio managers, Arjun Menon, will be leaving the company.

“As markets and clients evolve, we continue to innovate and examine our alternatives offering to ensure we deliver the solutions clients want and need today and into the future,” company spokesman Darin Oduyoye said, explaining the move.

Three of the four key portfolio managers, Mark Vanacore and Jon Segal and Jason Hempel, who have been leading the multi-strategy credit business for the last decade, will stay with the fund.

Investors will be allowed to shift their capital to the new fund or pull some or all of it out at a time the fund was delivering gains to investors. Exact returns for 2019 could not be learned.

JPMorgan first bought a piece of Highbridge, co-founded by Glenn Dubin, in 2004 and purchased the rest five years later. In 2015 the lender agreed to sell the majority of Highbridge’s $22 billion private equity business to senior executives.

Vanacore, who joined Highbridge at its founding in 1992, was named the chief investment officer for Highbridge Capital Management in 2012, a position he holds in addition to being a portfolio manager.

Menon, who had concentrated on investing in Asian stocks, plans to launch his own fund in the future.

As investors speculate that the bull market, which has pushed ahead for a decade, will inevitably slow in the months ahead, many investors are looking for alternatives and are showing signs of preferring more niche oriented strategies, fund managers and analysts have said.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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