Columbia Threadneedle Investments has launched a long-short absolute return European equity fund.

London-based portfolio managers Paul Doyle and Fred Jeanmaire, managers of the European Crescendo and Pan European Focus funds, respectively, will manage the Pan European Absolute Alpha fund, a Sicav domiciled in Luxembourg.

The pair will employ a bottom-up stock selection strategy, favouring undervalued companies, and will benchmark the three-month Euribor, with a target performance of 6-8% per annum. The portfolio will typically be comprised of between 40-80 long and short positions, and will also invest in derivatives.

Columbia Threadneedles 26-strong European equities team manages assets of over €40 billion.

Doyle said low interest rates and political uncertainty meant investors were increasingly looking to low-volatility strategies to protect and grow their capital. He added that the firm expected uncertainty to persist in Europe, with the upcoming referendum in Italy and elections in France and Germany providing potentially attractive long and short opportunities.

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