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Swiss group merges away US value fund

Swiss group merges away US value fund

SYZ Asset Management has merged two US equity funds in its OYSTER range due to the small size and lack of growth potential for its value-focused approach, Citywire Selector has learned.

The OYSTER US Value fund which was launched as a Luxembourg-domiciled fund in 2010 and run on mandate by Milwaukee-based trio William J NasgovitzDave C Fondrie and Colin McWey. The managers work for Heartland Advisors and run several US equity value funds for US investors.

On March 10 it was absorbed into the OYSTER US Selection fund, which is also Luxembourg-domiciled and has $240 million in assets under management.

This fund is is overseen by Patrick Dunkerley, Derek Smashey, and John Indellicate II, who work for Scout Investments in Kansas and run the US Selection fund on mandate.

In a note to shareholders, the Geneva-based asset manager said the merger of the two funds is expected to reduce costs and achieve economies of scale.

A spokesperson for SYZ Asset Management confirmed the changes and added the decision to merge the US Value fund into the US Selection fund was mainly related to the small size of the fund and the limited growth potential for the future.

According to Lipper data, the OYSTER US Value fund had $12.7 million in assets under management as at the end of February 2016. This compares to a peak of $75 million, which was achieved in December 2011.

In December 2015 SYZ Asset Management combined its alternative and long-only strategies into one unit to improve efficiencies within research teams.

The OYSTER US Value fund returned 13.5% in US dollar terms over the three years to the end of February 2016. This compares to a 35.8% rise by the S&P 500 TR over the same timeframe. Meanwhile, the OYSTER US Selection fund returned 22.8% over the same analysis period against the same benchmark.

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