Tearaway small caps fund manager QVG Capital is set to spread its wings.

According to an email sent to QVG clients, and seen by Street Talk, the Sydney-based firm is preparing to launch an Australian equities long/short hedge fund to complement its existing small caps strategy.

Clients were told QVG had tapped former Ophir Asset Management and Ausbil Dexia money manager Josh Clark as the new fund’s lead portfolio manager.

The manager is targeting a mid-May launch date for the new fund, while much of the capital is expected to come from existing investors.

QVG’s expansion comes only 18-months after the firm opened its doors.

QVG Capital, founded by ex Ausbil Portfolio Managers Tony Waters and Chris Prunty, set up shop in September 2017 and closed its small cap-focused Opportunities Fund to new investors in August 2018;  just eleven months later.

The Opportunities Fund has since produced impressive returns for investors. According to Mercer, the QVG Opportunities Fund was the top performing small companies fund for the 12 months to February 2019 with a return of 19 per cent.

That number saw QVG edge out the highly regarded Hyperion Small Growth Companies fund , which returned 14.9 per cent. Both funds are closed to new investors.

Coincidently, Morningstar named Hyperion and  QVG as the best performing large and small companies funds respectively in 2018.

Prospective investors in the hedge fund will be hoping some of this performance is transferable to the long short strategy.

Hedge funds have had a mixed time of late with top performers like VGI’s listed company returning 11.7 per cent for the 12 months to February, while laggards like L1 Capital’s listed investment company returned a negative 19.6 per cent over the same timeframe.

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