Franklin Templeton has today (18 June) launched the Franklin K2 Cat Bond UCITS Fund2 and Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia UCITS Fund2, the latest additions to its Luxembourg-domiciled Franklin Templeton Alternatives Funds (FTAF) 2 range.

These new funds bring the total number of liquid alternative strategies within the FTAF range to eight. After the launch, both funds will be registered in 11 European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

The investment objective of the Franklin K2 Cat Bond fund is to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns and compelling current income over time with limited correlation to other asset classes through investment in a portfolio of natural catastrophe bonds.

The Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia fund aims to achieve long-term capital appreciation with lower volatility relative to broader equity markets and substantially less correlation to traditional asset classes over a full market cycle by pursuing various risk premia strategies.

Bill Santos, senior managing director, K2 Advisors, said: "Since the launch of our flagship fund in 2013, we have experienced growing demand for K2 Advisors' full suite of investment research and management capabilities, along with risk and performance analytics services, in a transparent and liquid UCITS structure. We are continuing to see client demand for advisory, portfolio completion and hedge fund manager access services."

The Franklin K2 Cat Bond fund is managed by Jonathan Malawer, managing director, head of ILS, commodities and environmental strategies.
New York-based Malawer joined K2 Advisors in 2007 and leads its insurance linked securities, commodities and environmental strategies. He is also responsible for the evaluation and selection of hedge fund managers in these strategies.

The Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia fund is managed by Paul Fraynt, head of Alternative Risk Premia. Fraynt, also based in New York, joined K2 Advisors in 2017 and has almost two decades of buy- and sell-side experience specialising in alternative investments, including systematic risk premia strategies research, portfolio construction, asset allocation and risk management.

Julian Ide, head of EMEA distribution, Franklin Templeton, said: "The launch of the Franklin K2 Cat Bond and Franklin K2 Athena Risk Premia funds is another milestone in our commitment to broadening our UCITS range of liquid hedge strategies and alternative investment capabilities.

As one of the biggest providers of alternative solutions globally with $131 billion in AUM3, our goal is to provide a choice of differentiated strategies within our cost-effective product range of liquid alternative solutions to European clients. We believe these new funds may be attractive for investors seeking to reduce volatility and improve portfolio returns, especially in today's uncertain environment."

The two new funds follow the recent launch of the Franklin K2 Emso Emerging Markets UCITS Fund2 in December 2020. The FTAF range was initially launched in October 2019 and offers European investors access to a robust range of liquid alternative strategies in a UCITS format with daily liquidity and transparency from K2 Advisors through their Managed Accounts Platform (MAP).

K2 Advisors provides integrated hedge fund and alternative product solutions covering multiple strategies to institutional and high net worth investors as well as liquid alternative fund offerings for retail investors worldwide, with over $12 billion in assets under management as of May 31, 2021.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, K2 Advisors has a global presence with offices in New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.