(Adds details, industry background)
By Nishant Kumar
LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - London-based Mako Global Investors is backing former Marble Bar Asset Management portfolio manager Christian Thum to launch a European equities-focused hedge fund in the fourth quarter, sources familiar with the matter said.
The hedge fund, CT Invest, will bet on rising and falling share prices of pan-European cyclical and industrial companies and those in German-speaking countries, according to the sources and a marketing material of the fund obtained by Reuters.
The launch comes at a tough time for European equities hedge funds, which have gained 0.3 percent through August this year, according to data from Eurekahedge, trailing a 4.4 percent rise in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares.
European hedge funds have raised about $32 billion so far in 2014, the Eurekahedge data showed, about $2.5 billion less than during the same period last year.
Thum had been running the strategy with partners’ money after joining Mako Group in 2013 and returned 21 percent last year and 6.5 percent through April in 2014.
CT Invest aims to generate a return of 15 percent, according to the marketing material.
The sources could not disclose the launch size as the fund is yet to start marketing. One of the sources said the fund has a capacity to manage about $1 billion.
A spokeswoman for Mako Global Investors declined to comment. The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.
Thum left Marble Bar Asset Management in 2010 after joining the firm in 2008 as a partner running part of its main fund.
Previously, he worked at Goldman Sachs between 1995 and 2003 and headed the bank’s German equity trading from 2000 to 2002.
During his nearly four-year stint at Merrill Lynch starting 2004, he helped create the bank’s internal hedge fund unit in London and managed a team of traders with a combined portfolio of several billion dollars, according to the marketing material. (Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Carolyn Cohn and Mark Potter)