SYDNEY, Australia (HedgeWorld.com)–Meeting with investors, advisers and research groups this month, Vertex Capital is marketing its latest hedge fund launch–the Vertex Premium Equity Fund.

The Premium Equity Fund is the firm’s second absolute return offering and accompanies Vertex’s Relative Value Fund, which is a long/short Australian equity hedge fund that had a soft close last year (see ).

The new fund is a mix of Australian stocks and listed derivative instruments. The Premium Equity Fund will have a long bias in the Australian stocks with market exposure fluctuating between 0% and 70%.

Vertex’s Chief Investment Officer Kim Ivey said in a statement, “It’s an innovative development for equity portfolio construction, much like the equity long/short funds were in Australia when we launched RVF over four years ago.”

The Premium Equity Fund’s capacity has been set at A$400 million (US$289 million). Vertex officials plan to have the fund listed on a number of wrap platforms by the end of July. The fund’s offshore structure already has been established and will be offered to the firm’s international investors soon.

The firm’s two existing strategies have smaller capacity limits. The Relative Value Fund’s capacity was set at A$200 million, while the Australian Relative Value Fund, a Cayman Island-registered fund, has a US$100 million cap.

Consistent with the firm’s growth, Vertex added two staffers in recent months. Bill De Araujo joined as associate director of investments and is the portfolio manager for the Premium Equity Fund. Mr. De Araujo was associate director at HSBC Bank, London. At HSBC he was responsible for undertaking equity derivative and quantitative analysis and identifying investment opportunities for the bank’s pension fund and hedge funds clients.

Wayne Fotheringham also joined Vertex earlier this year as an equities and derivatives trader. Previously, Mr. Fotheringham was a derivatives trader with Fort Hill Capital Management in charge of trading and maintaining an Australian equity portfolio, as well as in charge of setting up and trading Korean index derivatives.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Robert F. Keane with questions or comments at:

bkeane@ia-mag.com.