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September 28, 2016  

Structured-Product Pros Prepare to Launch

Investors will soon get a crack at a structured-product hedge fund being assembled by a team that generated double-digit returns over five years working in the U.S. unit of Netherlands-based IMC Asset Management.

The team, led by former IMC portfolio manager Simon Berring, has set up shop in New York under the banner Ayin Capital. They’re now seeking to raise $100 million for a founders share class in their planned Ayin Credit Opportunities Fund. They expect to begin trading in the next few months.

In the New York office of IMC, Berring and his partners at Ayin — research chief Elena Liahovetsky and head trader Steven van der Voort — ran a vehicle dubbed IMC Credit Fund that focused on less-liquid and more-esoteric types of asset-backed bonds and mortgage securities. They’re telling prospective investors in Ayin that their niche strategy was key to the IMC fund achieving a 13% annualized return, with minimal volatility. By comparison, the HFRI Fixed Income-Asset Backed Index was showing a five-year return of 7.75% as of Aug. 31.

The Ayin fund will take a similar approach, while also focusing on emerging opportunities in consumer and small-business loans originated by so-called marketplace lenders. Berring and his partners already are managing the strategy in a “fund of one” for an institutional investor that committed $40 million.

IMC began unwinding the IMC Credit Fund earlier this year as part of a plan to shutter its operations in New York — freeing Berring and his team to strike out on their own. They spent their final months at IMC unwinding the fund before opening Ayin in May. At its peak, IMC Credit Fund had about $225 million under management.

Before joining IMC in 2011, Bering was a structured-product analyst at QVT Financial.