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Polar Capital reports asset surge of 53%

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Opalesque Industry Update - Polar Capital Holdings today announced an increase in assets under management to $3.9bn at 31 March 2011, up 53% from the previous year and up 26% over the last six months. According to chairman Tom Bartlam, the increase in assets is a result of absolute fund performance, continued client inflows across all strategies and the acquisition of long-only fund manager HIM Capital in September last year. Polar also confirmed an asset base of $4.3bn as at the end of May 2011.

Polar's long-only technology and Japan-focused UCITS funds have seen the largest asset growth over the last 12 months: The firm's technology fund now manages $1.402bn (up from $815m on year ago), Polar's Japan fund now has $1.063bn under managerment, up from $682m. The two funds now represent 63% of total assets managed by Polar.

While the firm's range of long-only funds outperformed their benchmarks last year, performance on the hedge fund side was more mixed: The European Forager Fund again had a good year, and the European team's second vehicle Conviction has started to perform well too after a difficult start. The UK funds, on the other hand, have disappointed, having a "frustrating 2010, and the strategy's performance so far in 2011 has been weak". Polar's macro strategy also continued to struggle and the Discovery Fund was eventually closed in January. However, the recently launched ALVA Global Convertibles Fund has started well gaining 8.35% in its first five months.

The significant increase in assets also allowed the firm to increase pre-tax profits from GBP3.7m to GBP10.2m. The firm was able to generate core pre-tax profit of GBP3.6m and net performance fees of GBP5.7m, which is more than double last year's figure, according to Bartlam.

Looking ahead, Polar's CEO Tom Woolley said the firm will further expand the product range offered by its existing teams and continue the strategy of acquiring and recruiting additional investment teams. "We will continue to look for exceptional investment talent although it is unlikely we will add teams at the pace we did in the previous year. I would though hope to add one or two more proven teams by the end of our fiscal year," he said.

- Florian Guldner

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