Evans will concentrate on promoting Qbasis’ new
exchange-traded fund, the Qbasis Futures Fund, which began
trading on the Hamburg Stock Exchange on April 1. It replicates
the investment strategy of the principal Qbasis managed futures
fund, also called the Qbasis Futures Fund, but is accessible to
"Managed futures are destined to grow even more now," said
Philipp Pölzl, co-founder of Qbasis, in Vaduz. "In the
last two years, if you were running a portfolio, to include
managed futures was a must. In 2008 it was the only asset class
that did well – everything else was down. In 2009
everything else went up, and managed futures unfortunately had
their worst year in history. But that’s what they
offer – uncorrelated returns. The last two years have
been very helpful to us."
So far, Qbasis has five salespeople concentrating on the
German and Austrian markets and two covering Switzerland, all
Evans was most recently partner and co-founder of GLS, a
hedge fund marketing business. Before that he worked at UBS and
Merrill Lynch, covering intermediaries and wealth managers in
the alternatives sector. He began his career in 2002 at the US
investment bank Laidlaw & Co and then moved to the ECU
Group, a former subsidiary of ED&F Man.
Qbasis’ decision to launch an ETF was driven
partly by the changing concerns of European investors. "There
have been some problems with offshore funds," said Pölzl,
"not in managed futures but more widely – such as
liquidity restrictions. Because offshore funds
aren’t as regulated as onshore ones, people have
not felt as comfortable with them. Therefore there has been
more demand for onshore products like ETFs and Ucits-compliant
On the horizon is the European Union’s
Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, which could
clamp down on a wide range of investments including hedge funds
and commodity funds. "It is too early to say how the AIFM
directive impacts offshore funds," said Pölzl, "but we are
prepared for it. Even if there is a problem marketing offshore
funds in future, we have this onshore solution ready."
The ETF is a feeder fund for Qbasis’
established offshore Qbasis Futures Fund. Apart from some
additional fees and differences caused by hedging effects, its
performance should be identical. While the offshore fund has a
minimum investment of $100,000, the ETF is denominated in
shares of Eu100, though in practice platform restrictions tend
to mean investors have to put in at least Eu2,000.
Qbasis launched the ETF with about Eu1m of mostly
self-funded money, and is now about to ramp up the marketing in
the hope of growing the fund.
Evans is going to be marketing it in the UK to private
banks, smaller funds of funds and independent financial
advisers. Pölzl said Qbasis would consider adding a
sterling class of shares if there was demand.
Qbasis’ funds invest in more than 90 different
futures products, ranging from stocks and indices to bonds,
energy and metals. Trading is fully automated, using two
systems developed by co-founder Florian Wagner and system
developer Ziad Chahal.
The systems, MF Trend and MF Plus, are intended to enable
the fund to profit from both short and long term trends, as
well as from sideways market movements. Qbasis claims these
strategies have had an annualised return of 35% since
inception, and returned 130% in the past two years.
The MF Trend strategy is a break-out trend-following
strategy, while MF Plus is a swing/reversal strategy. Intraday
movements are captured by a strategy component called MF Trend
Qbasis is invested in every market 95% of the time,
including overnight and weekends, with the aiming of achieving
constant high diversification and an edge in catching trends.
The two strategies have a low correlation with each other.
Jon Hay +44 207 779 8372 firstname.lastname@example.org