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Bennelong launches new ASX fund

Bennelong Funds Management has announced a new long/short fund for Australian equities, following the soft closure of the firm's ASX100 market neutral strategy.

Speaking to ifa, Bennelong chief executive Jarrod Brown said the ASX100 strategy was 'soft closed' when it reached $200 million in funds under management and has since reached $400 million due to market performance and additions from existing investors.

The new ASX200 strategy was launched this month and will only be open to wholesale investors with $500,000 and above, said Mr Brown.

But somewhat surprisingly, not all of the investors in the ASX100 market neutral fund are institutions, he said.

"If you look at the existing strategy, we have a heap of individual SMSF investors and they’ve come through financial planners; it’s just that they’re 'sophisticated' and they meet the wholesale investor test," he said.

Since the existing strategy was closed to new investors there have been investors 'knocking on the door', Mr Brown added.

There is a "good pipeline" of investors interested in the new fund, and $4 million came in on 1 January 2014, he said.

"I don’t expect people to flood through the doors, but people haven’t had access to the capacity for a number of years, so hopefully there’s some appetite," he said.

The new ASX200 fund will have lower leverage than the ASX100 fund, he said.