DUBLIN, Ireland (HedgeWorld.com)–Officials at Pioneer Alternative Investments are saying that a recent fund closure has to do with poor performance but insist that its shortcomings aren’t the whole story.

Instead, Pioneer has bright hopes for the future. “We are confident that our new strategy will have a greater probability of success in reaching its target return,” officials said in a statement.

The Pioneer Global Macro Fund with a loss of 7.27% for the year through the end of August has had a tough time meeting investors’ expectations. With 51.1 million euro (US$63.5 million) in assets, the fund now is closed, with 97% of assets being rolled over into a new fund offering.

What officials say is worthy of note is that the new fund, Pioneer Systematic Diversified, is a turn away from the discretionary macro investment style that sat outside Pioneer’s clearly defined single-strategy management philosophy, which is based on a more systematic, relative-value/arbitrage style.

According to the TASS* database, the original global macro fund returned 3.84% last year and has returned only 2% since its January 2001 inception date. At the same time, the CSFB/Tremont* global macro sub-index was up 4.42% for the year through August, while the benchmark Pioneer officials use, the CSFB/Tremont Managed Futures index was down 6.99%. This suggests a divergence of strategies that may not have served Pioneer’s original fund well.

Overall, Pioneer has had returns comparable to those of industry competitors, officials said. Firm wide assets have grown to 3.77 billion euro as of Sept. 30 while its other offerings had mixed investment results in 2004.

* TASS Research is the information and research unit of Tremont Capital Management Inc., Rye, N.Y., which is a minority investor in and strategic partner of HedgeWorld.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com</a.