Embattled EEA adds Oriel UK equity funds and managers

EEA Fund Management has sought to move on as it nears a restructure of its suspended life settlements fund by hiring Oriel Asset Management’s founder and chairman and adding two funds to its range.

Oriel founder and fund manager David Urch has joined EEA along with chairman Tim Hall. Mr Urch’s £2.6m long/short UK Equity Market fund and a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund have also transferred to EEA and been renamed to reflect the change. Both Mr Hall and Mr Urch have previously worked at Martin Currie.

It comes as EEA is seeking to move on from a period of difficulty regarding its EEA Life Settlements fund, which has been suspended for nearly two years with investors unable to redeem their money. It was forced to write down the value of the fund’s portfolio earlier this year and last month contacted investors regarding a restructuring.

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EEA chairman Simon Shaw said the hires were “a good fit” with the company’s existing product range, which is focused on alternative asset classes such as managed futures.

Mr Urch will continue to manage both funds while Mr Hall will take on a supporting role. Both are also set to take on business development roles within EEA.

The TB EEA UK Equity Market fund was launched in May 2012 and since then has posted a 40.6 per cent return, according to FE Analytics, compared with the IMA UK All Companies sector average return of 32.8 per cent.

Oriel Asset Management now consists of three long-only equity funds run by Patrick Barton and Richard Scrope, which were acquired from Williams de Broe in October 2012.