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Stenham Mulls First U.S. Push

Stenham Advisors, a fund of hedge funds firm with over $2 billion under management, is considering targeting U.S. investors for the first time.

Stenham Advisors, a fund of hedge funds firm with over $2 billion under management, is considering targeting U.S. investors for the first time. In recent years the firm has branched out from its original South African client base, attracting assets from European and South American investors, but it has no U.S. clients, observed Harry Wulfsohn, director in London. As the firm seeks to grow assets, potentially doubling over the next few years, the U.S. market is a significant untapped opportunity.

Despite the obvious appeal of tapping assets from the world's largest hedge fund market, Stenham has not made a move into the U.S. yet for regulatory reasons. "It's all about getting the structures right; at the moment we can't market there," said Wulfsohn. The firm is investigating possible opportunities but no timeframe has been set.

The firm has not decided how it should best push for U.S. assets. It would consider creating specific funds tailored to the interests of North American investors, but so far it has not identified sectors. Alternatively, it might create compliant structures for its existing strategies, said Wulfsohn.

The desire to attract U.S. assets complements a decision by Stenham to roll out more specialist funds of hedge funds going forward. "U.S. clients, in a similar way to Swiss clients, are very sophisticated," noted Wulfsohn. "They don't want another giant multi-strategy fund--there are thousands of them." The firm already runs a fund of funds focused on gold, as well as a global macro offering. A commodities fund is also in the works.

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