The family-owned Schulte Group, which owns 90 vessels of all types and manages 630 vessels through its ship manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, has launched Hanseatic Capital Management (HCM).
Schulte Group acts as the anchor investor in the fund that will focus on commercial shipping. HCM will concentrate on a commercially balanced employment strategy, which will include both shorter and period charters, depending on the vessel segments.
The first fund to be launched, Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc, aims to initially raise US$120M. Its investment goal is medium-sized vessels aged between four and 15 years.
Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc aims for a conservative use of leverage. Given the high operating leverage of shipping, Hanseatic Fund’s managers aspire to low breakeven points for vessels. It is their intention to distribute dividends to investors on a regular basis.
Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc will be regulated as an alternative investment fund (AIF) by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in line with the relevant EU directives. This is another sign that along with the appointment of a deputy minister of shipping, Cyprus has emerged from its economic crisis.
The Fund will be managed by HCM, an authorised AIF manager also regulated by CySEC. EFG Bank (Luxembourg) and the international fund and corporate services provider Alter Domus act as the Fund’s independent depositary and administrator respectively.
The units of the Hanseatic Fund VCIC Plc also qualify as an eligible investment for the ‘Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by exception’, issued by the Republic of Cyprus.
It therefore offers an investment opportunity in an asset class with great scope for diversification, which previously was not available under this scheme.
The launch of the Schulte Group’s Hanseatic Capital Management follows on from the Tufton Oceanic fund venture launched in 2017.