NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–DB Absolute Return Strategies signed an agreement with PlusFunds Group Inc. to be the exclusive distributor of the S&P Hedge Fund Index hedge fund offerings in the United States.

The global hedge fund management business of Deutsche Bank AG, DB Absolute Return Strategies will work with Deutsche Asset Management’s institutional sales force to sell hedge funds to corporate and public pension funds, endowments, foundations and insurance companies.

DB officials looked at different jurisdictions and found that the U.S. institutional investor market would be the most interesting area of focus for Deutsche, according to Craig Russell, global head of distribution at DB Absolute Return Strategies.

Christopher Sugrue, chairman of PlusFunds, said the agreement is a milestone for PlusFunds, which has signed 10 other distribution agreements to date, primarily in overseas markets. To date, only three agreements have been made public (Previous HedgeWorld Story) and the firm plans to announce more deals soon, he said.

PlusFunds is also working with db RiskOffice, an offshoot of Deutsche Bank, to offer investors in the S&P Hedge Fund Index funds risk transparency in the first quarter. This is on top of the daily net asset value information that the firm started calculating this month. With db RiskOffice, investors are able to stress test the funds and have access to various levels of transparency.

The S&P Hedge Fund Index values are calculated and published daily by Standard & Poor’s on its web site, www.spglobal.com. The index comprises nine hedge fund strategies that are grouped into three broad style categories: arbitrage, event-driven and directional/tactical. The index itself was introduced in May 2002 and launched on Nov. 18 (Previous HedgeWorld Story).

Offering manager transparency, risk transparency and daily pricing, the PlusFunds arrangement was attractive to DB. “It gives certain institutional investors the comfort they need to get invested in this asset class,” Mr. Russell said.

Deutsche offers hedge funds to both institutional and high-net-worth individuals through its global distribution platform. With a number of hedge fund offerings, including a registered hedge fund of funds (Previous HedgeWorld Story), the absolute return group has US$5.5 billion in assets under management.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com