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YouGov, Numis and Four launch consumer research-driven hedge fund

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Market research firm YouGov, stockbroker Numis Corporation and specialist asset manager Four Capital Partners have announced an initial target of up to GBP25m for the launch of a research-

Market research firm YouGov, stockbroker Numis Corporation and specialist asset manager Four Capital Partners have announced an initial target of up to GBP25m for the launch of a research-driven hedge fund, the YouGov Alpha Fund, with Numis leading the fundraising.

The fund, which will be open-ended and directed at high net worth individuals, discretionary managers and institutional investors, has been established through a joint venture between YouGov, Numis and Four to exploit insights and trading opportunities identified through YouGov’s real time internet-based consumer research and Four’s fund management expertise.

The investment strategy for the fund is based on YouGov’s online panel methodology, which aims to provide insights into the marketplace performance of sectors and companies ahead of trading statements and publicly available information. The fund managers will use the findings to sift information and generate insights into company performance.

The approach focuses on direction of change rather than degree of change, which aims to reduce risk, and the partners say the strategy is uncorrelated to the market. For example, trades will be put on when the research is pointing in a different direction to the consensus of the market and when the insight is not already reflected in the share price.

‘Having a real, differentiated investment edge which can be applied in a disciplined and consistent manner is an extremely rare thing in investment markets,’ says Chris Rodgers of Four, manager of the YouGov Alpha Fund. ‘It is very hard to get a real information advantage; this research gives us that. Our investment decisions will be driven by the data, and we will be able to test ideas using the data. Our investment edge is genuine and it is sustainable.’

Stephan Shakespeare, co-founder and chief innovation officer of YouGov and director of YouGov Alpha Fund, adds: ‘Four’s fund management expertise combined with YouGov’s research gives us a great platform on which to demonstrate the performance of the strategy and grow the fund.’

The minimum investment is USD100,000 or equivalent. The fund will seek a listing on the Irish Stock Exchange and offer monthly dealing. Annual management charges will be 2 per cent plus a 20 per cent performance fee above a UK base hurdle rate.

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