STOCKHOLM, Sweden (HedgeWorld.com)–Skandia Liv, the life insurance subsidiary of Skandia, has appointed the Liberty Ermitage Group, Jersey, to run its Japanese long/short equity account.

The account will be funded gradually up to US$100 million, according to a statement LEG issued Nov. 11.

LEG has been represented in the Nordic region by Intervalor AB since September 2001. In the statement, Anders Bladh, the chief executive of Intervalor, said that his firm’s marketing of LEG’s low-volatility, non-directional products has been a great success.

“The new mandate from Skandia constitutes a breakthrough for one of Liberty Ermitage’s directional strategies–their long/short fund of funds,” he said. “The investment is a milestone for ‘portable alpha’ investing in the Nordic region, and both Intervalor and Liberty Ermitage are absolutely thrilled to be part of it, particularly since we are convinced this concept will grow.”

The statement defines portable alpha as the concept of separating the creation of outperformance, or alpha, from that of market exposure, or beta, to achieve higher returns in the overall portfolio.

LEG has a staff of 61 in Jersey and has operations in Bermuda, Luxembourg, London and New York. It offers five core services: a single-manager hedge fund program, funds of funds, traditional funds, global wealth management services and specialist fund administration. It is owned by Liberty Group, South Africa, which in turn is part of the Standard Bank Group with combined assets under management of US$81 billion and an aggregate market capitalization of US$8 billion.

Intervalor, which has offices in both Stockholm and Helsinki, was founded in 1992 to meet the increasing interest of international investors in the deregulated Nordic market place.

The statement said that this account is probably one of the biggest mandates ever awarded for Japanese long/short and one of the largest long/short deals ever in the Nordic region.

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