August 28, 2018 / 5:52 AM / a month ago

GAM Holding outlines plan to liquidate absolute return funds

ZURICH, Aug 28 (Reuters) - GAM Holding will next month start liquidating funds whose trading it halted in July after suspending the investment director who ran them, the Swiss group said on Tuesday.

GAM had announced on Aug. 10 it would liquidate the nine unconstrained/absolute return (ARBF) funds, which represented 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.33 billion) in assets under management at the end of July.

"All fund investors will receive their proportionate interest in cash from the liquidation process," it said.

"Each fund expects to be able to make the first payment in early September, returning between 74 percent and 87 percent of the Luxembourg and Irish-domiciled UCITS funds, and between 60 percent and 66 percent of the assets in the Cayman master fund and the associated Cayman and Australian feeder funds."

The priority was to maximise value for fund investors, while ensuring equal and fair treatment, GAM said.

"As these funds have a mix of mainly liquid assets and some less liquid assets, GAM is focused on ensuring balance between value maximisation with the speed of liquidation," it said.

It expected to make a further distribution for each fund before the end of September, and continue distributions in the months ahead depending on market conditions.

The company planned alternatives for investors who want to remain invested with the ARBF team, GAM said. A UCITS fund was expected to be available within weeks, and it was setting up a new Cayman fund as well.

GAM suspended investment director Tim Haywood following an internal investigation that it said raised questions about his risk-management procedures and record keeping.

"The suspension and the subsequent decision to liquidate the ARBF funds has been a difficult process, but necessary to ensure that we deliver on our principles of acting in the best interests of all fund investors and treating them equally and fairly," Chief Executive Alexander Friedman said.

$1 = 0.9957 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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