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BlackRock to close two top performing European equity funds

BlackRock to close two top performing European equity funds

BlackRock is set to hard close two top performing European equity funds run by Euro-Stars AAA-rated Alister Hibbert and Alt Ucits A-rated Vincent Devlin on November 7, Citywire Global can exclusively reveal.

The changes impact two Luxembourg-domiciled funds, while a further UK-domiciled fund run by Hibbert will be soft closed on that date as well to protect existing investors and investment strategy.

In letters to shareholders seen by Citywire Global, the group said Hibbert's €1.93 billion BGF Continental Europe Flexible fund would be 'closed to further subscriptions from new and existing shareholders' from November 7.

This is while the €1.59 billion BSF European Absolute Return A2 EUR fund run by Devlin and co-manager Stefan Gries would also close to new and existing investors from that date.

In addition, Hibbert's £1.96 billion UK-domiciled BlackRock European Dynamic fund, a Citywire Selection UK star pick, will be soft closed on that date, with its existing A and D shares classes closed and replaced by new unit classes labelled FA and FD.

Intermediaries subsequently investing in the FA and FD class will pay a 1% initial charge, while direct investors buying the FD share class will pay up to a 5% charge, which will be fully paid directly into the funds.

The group said once the strategy reached a £2.5 billion capacity limit, it too would be closed to further subscription, effectively giving Hibbert's UK and  Luxembourg Sicav strategy a total capacity limit of £4.5 billion.

Devlin and Gries' UK-domiciled mirror fund BlackRock European Absolute Alpha will have its capacity limit set at £100 million at which point it will be closed to investors.

Currently it has assets of £56 million, giving the strategy a total capacity limit of around £1.5 billion.

The only exceptions for Devlin and Hibbert's UK funds will be those in the BlackRock Regular Savings Plan, who will be able to continue to make investments at current levels into the BlackRock European Alpha and BlackRock European Dynamic funds.

Hibbert's BGF Continental European fund is second in the 77-strong Citywire European equities sector over three years returning 48.7%. This compares to its benchmark, which rose 27%,

Meanwhile, over three years, Devlin's BlackRock European Alpha fund has returned 19.6% compared to the STOXX Europe 50 benchmark, which rose 14.8% over the same time period.

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