Citigroup is considering using new fund rules in the U.K. to roll out a type of fund that can invest in derivatives. Russell Catley, a U.K. equity structured sales official in London, said the Qualified Investor Scheme, which allows onshore regulated funds in the U.K. to invest in derivatives and to leverage assets under management, is an attractive platform for high-net-worth investors. Although several dealers including Citigroup have been looking into wrapping structured products in QIS funds, so far only one fund manager, Tri Investments, is believed to have launched a QIS vehicle.
"It's something that's certainly on our calendar," said Catley, who noted the firm recently started researching the funds. He added it is too early to comment on the type of structured equity products it might wrap in a QIS fund. Citigroup is talking to clients and any deals will likely be bespoke trades arranged for discretionary accounts.
U.K. regulator the Financial Services Authority issued the QIS regulations last April, paving the way for derivative shops and fund managers to launch onshore hedge funds. Equity structuring officials, however, said interest in the wrapper was slow to take off because the tax treatment of the funds was not clear. Accountants and lawyers said inquiries into QIS funds have been growing since the tax situation was clarified at the end of last year (DW, 12/17).