UMB Fund Services (UMB) has released its second annual comprehensive report on unlisted closed-end funds (CEFs), including interval and tender-offer funds. The research was conducted by FUSE Research Network (FUSE) and key elements of the study include number of funds and rankings, sizing and number of unique funds offered and in registration. The key findings from the report find that the size of the unlisted CEF market has grown steadily since 2014, ending 2017 at approximately $48 billion in assets under management. It also finds that the Interval funds continue to outpace tender-offer funds from an asset growth perspective. The number of interval funds available for purchase has increased since July 2017 while the number of tender-offer funds has decreased. Liquidity and lack of education were the top two challenges distributors noted with utilizing interval/tender offer funds. Maureen Quill, president of UMB Fund Services said: “Unlisted closed-end funds continue to accelerate in popularity, especially in the interval fund space. The report issued this year further confirms unlisted CEFs are a viable option for both retail investors and investment managers. We hope the depth of the research informs managers about the rapid growth of these products and the current landscape.”
Venture capital funds from Goldman Sachs and BBVA have led a £13.6 million Series B financing round in UK digital mortgage broker Trussle that uses proprietary automation and a mortgage monitoring service to compare and track thousands of mortgage products. Launched in 2015, Trussle secured a £4.5 million investment in February last year as it reached £1 billion worth of mortgages on behalf of homeowners across the UK. Ishaan Malhi, chief executive and founder of Trussle, said: “The backing from two prolific and globally renowned fintech investors recognises the brilliant progress we’ve made, but also the scale of our ambition. The funding will enable us to invest significantly in building our brand and our product but fundamentally, will accelerate us towards our vision of digitising the end-to-end journey to make home ownership more affordable and accessible to all.”
Apex Token Fund, an investment manager specialising in cryptocurrency and blockchain related assets, has launched its public token sale for its fund of hedge funds. Apex tokens provide retail investors with access to a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrency assets managed by a selection of top performing hedge funds. The sale runs until 25 May 2018 and aims to raise $25 million and a hard cap of $100 million. Investors can buy tokens in the fund via Apex Token Fund’s website. The minimum investment in the fund is 5 ETH, the cryptocurrency currently worth around $760. The APEX token is only available to non-US investors. The fund targets primarily retail investors and those already familiar with investing in cryptocurrencies who want more diversified exposure to this emerging asset class. Unlike investing directly in hedge funds, purchasing Apex tokens does not require a high minimum investment nor commitment to multi-year lock-in periods. The fund of fund structure means investors benefit from the due diligence, experience and oversight of expert fund managers without having to manage a portfolio of assets themselves.
Students from Imperial College Business School have collaborated to create and launch the School’s first student-led investment fund. The Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund has been established by students from the School’s MSc Investment and Wealth Management, and the MSc Finance and Accounting programmes with the core mission of equipping them and their fellow classmates with the necessary practical skills to work in a buy-side role within the financial sector. By managing £100,000 in assets, the investment fund will provide students with another opportunity of learning financial skills. By working with external companies, the fund will also help students meet and connect with potential future employers. All profits made by students from their investments will be reinvested back into the fund.