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Tapping Into The Dream Of Classic Car Investments With New Fund

Osmond Plummer , Geneva , 15 February 2011

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The BBC’s Top Gear is the one of the world’s most syndicated television shows. But for most of us the super cars or classic cars that feature on the show are a little out of our league. Now, however, there is a way of diversifying your portfolio a little further by buying a share in a classic car pool and thereby sharing in any capital appreciation that this rather specialised assets class may generate.

The Count of Custoza Family Office, the Swiss asset manager, has set up a Liechtenstein-based fund that will soon be listed on the German stock exchange. The fund is called The Classic Car Fund (www.theclassiccarfund.com) and the manager hopes to raise an initial €50 million (around $67.4 million), with a further €350 million over the next five years. The fund has daily dealing and no initial lock up of an investment – although this style of investment is fairly long term.

“An investor should look to an investment of three to five years at a minimum,” said Filippo Pignatti Morano di Custoza, manager of the fund, who is himself passionate about classic cars.

“This is very much a non-elitist approach to investing in this sector. We want to be fully transparent, hence our quotation on the fund exchange. There is so much ambiguity; many investments aren’t performing steadily in the current volatile landscape – The Classic Car Fund, provides a platform for those looking to diversify their portfolio,” he continued.

The investment team includes experts from Sotheby’s, Christie’s and experienced private collectors who have also worked in finance. In other respects the fund is more typical with a 2 and 20 per cent fee structure subject to a high water mark, although the target return of 17 per cent per annum is a healthy figure to aim for. The fund is eyeing a 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa, most recently sold for €6.8 million, and a rare 1963 Jaguar series I E-Type 3.8 Roadster, which was snapped up for $132,000 four years ago as potential initial investments.

There is probably a market for this product. At the Elite Private Investment conference held in Montreux last November nearly all the investors confirmed their interest in art, wine and collectibles investing. And what is the minimum investment? Just €100 rather than the slightly larger sums required to buy the cars as an individual. (To view a recent article on classic car investing, click here).

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