Canadian investors go currency hedging route

Rotherham Trust aims to reduce volatility for indie producers

TORONTO -- One year after the global market meltdown, equity players are moving back into the Canadian media sector.

Toronto-based investment vehicle Rotherham Trust said Friday that it will introduce currency hedging for Canadian producers doing treaty co-productions with foreign partners, or co-ventures with American producers.

Rotherham managing director John Daldin said the RT Global Access Fund aims to reduce volatility for indie producers by hedging foreign currency exposure as they produce overseas or locally with American and other international partners.

"The currency question is an ongoing daily balancing act that producers simply do not have the expertise or the time to manage," he said.

Daldin argues bigger Canadian media groups, with significant U.S.-dollar expenses or revenue and forex expertise, routinely hedge their currency-exchange bets.

But smaller and midsize producers do little, if anything, to minimize currency volatility, he added.

The performance-driven RT Global Access Fund will invest on behalf of the producers, with an eye to managing, preserving and ideally growing those funds during any period of the production schedule, including preproduction.

The currency hedging comes as the Canadian dollar appears destined to continue climbing in value, compared to the greenback, and local producers do more co-productions or co-ventures with American partners as traditional sources of film financing dry up or are depleted at home.