Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2010 (Revised July 2010)

Barclays Wealth: Reignite WAR or Launch AlphaStream?

by Lena G. Goldberg and Elisa Farri

Abstract

In late January 2009, Thomas Fekete, managing director at Barclays Wealth in London, redeemed the most illiquid positions in the so-called Wealth Absolute Return Fund (WAR), one of Barclays Wealth's most promising offshore funds of hedge funds, and halted the Fund's investment activities. For Fekete, the decision to declare the WAR funds a ''failed experiment" marked a turning point. In May 2009, money from the redeemed underlying funds would become available, and by that date, he had to develop a new investment strategy. Fekete faced two options. Option one was to revive the WAR Fund. Option two was to shelve the WAR Fund and launch a new fund of UCITS regulated funds domiciled in Europe with UCITS qualification. Which strategy would be the best way to invest during this period of crisis, to the benefit of both Barclays Wealth and its clients?

Keywords: Financial Crisis; Financial Liquidity; International Finance; Investment Funds; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Strategy; Financial Services Industry; London;

Citation:

Goldberg, Lena G., and Elisa Farri. "Barclays Wealth: Reignite WAR or Launch AlphaStream?" Harvard Business School Case 310-090, February 2010. (Revised July 2010.)