First Hedge Fund to be domiciled in DIFC

First Hedge Fund to be domiciled in DIFC

  • Argent Financial Group International to move into DIFC
  • On schedule to launch the first DIFC-domiciled fund in April 2006
  • Plans include moving global HQ to the DIFC

The first hedge fund institution with a licence to base its funds in the DIFC was granted authorisation today.

Argent Financial Group International LLP has been licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to operate as an authorised firm from the Dubai International Financial Centre. Argent Financial Group International LLP is a UK subsidiary of the Argent Financial Group Ltd and an affiliate of the Argent Funds Group LLC. The companies are privately held, independent fund and investment managers originally founded in 1995 with US and UK managed funds currently domiciled in Caymans and the USA.

The licence paves the way for Argent Financial Group International LLP to launch the first Dubai (DIFC) domiciled fund - the “Constans Crescent Investment Fund” - in April 2006.

The Constans Crescent Investment Fund is a geographically focused, multi-strategy fund focused on investment opportunities in the greater Middle East/North Africa/South Asia region.  The Fund primarily invests in a broad range of publicly-listed securities across the capital structure of selected corporates, in the countries of the GCC, Levant, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.  The objective of the Fund is to generate consistent absolute returns from a diversified portfolio of securities. 

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the DIFC Authority, commented: “We welcome Argent Financial Group International to the DIFC. This is a very significant development for us. Argent Financial is the first to be licensed specifically for fund management function within the DIFC and, more importantly, to launch a specially designed product focussing on the Middle East. The region has US $1.9 trillion looking for a home and we can now offer varied opportunities to investors and also to organisations looking to raise funds.”

Howard Leedham MBE, Senior Managing Director of Argent Financial Group Ltd commented: “As London is the established financial powerhouse of the world, Dubai is very likely tomorrow’s global financial powerhouse.  The incredible vision to “build it and they will come” is being verified with the arrival of every Emirates Airline flight.  The creation of a “zero-tax”, financial city with its own international regulatory and legal standing, ready to serve the countries of the GCC and beyond is innovative and efficient. 

“If any financial company considers itself international, it ignores a presence in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) at its peril.  Argent Financial Group International is not only pleased to announce its intent to manage several Hedge Funds from DIFC, but it sees Dubai as becoming a hub to its entire Group of companies.  The possibility of relocating the company’s global headquarters into the DIFC is an evolving and increasingly real consideration.”

The Argent Group of companies currently manages in the region of $2.5 billion  in assets over various strategies for onshore and offshore investors.  It now operates funds from offices in, London, the USA (5 states), Bermuda, and has a Financial Analyst Platform in Mumbai, and will imminently commence fund operation in the DIFC-Dubai.  The company currently has approximately 1,200 Sophisticated and institutional investors with the majority being non-US. 

Argent’s investment approach is one that combines extensive proprietary credit research and quantitative modelling. Its research focus has enabled its funds to consistently provide superior returns to investors.

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