CQS Funds had a slightly positive June, according to an investor letter reviewed by ValueWalk, as its founder, a devout Roman Catholic, was tapped by Pope Francis for assistance.

Pope Francis CQS

CQS Funds’ founder Michael Hintze named board to the bank

Pope Francis is turning to a prominent hedge fund manager, among other Wall Street players, to help him clean up the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank. CQS founder Michael Hintze has been named to the board of the bank, officially known as the Istituto per le Opere di Religione, according to a report in FinAlternatives. Former Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) chairman Clemens Boersig has was tapped on the board along with Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard law professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Taking charge at the bank is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, a former CEO of Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ)’s European business and founder of an M&A advisory firm.

The bank announced that it closed closed 3,000 accounts as it reported a dramatic fall in profits. In only its second public reporting of profits the bank said it earned roughly $4 million (2.9 million euros) the previous fiscal year, down from nearly $117 million (86 million euros) in the previous reporting period.

CQS’s Hintze viewed as a significant positive for the Vatican

The addition of Hintze is viewed as a significant positive for the Vatican. Known as a no nonsense manager with deep insight into a broad range of international finance matters, CQS, the firm Hintze founded, operates nine diverse strategies.

In June the Directional Opportunities Fund was up most significantly, netting investors 1.07 percent while the fund, up 3.28 percent year to date, slightly lags the S&P 500 on the year. On the month gains were driven by the Structured Credit (ex-ABS) portfolio, with “notable positive contributions” from volatility strategies. Losers on the month occurred in “vanilla” credit strategies, as credit spreads tightened.

CQS ABS fund performance

The highly watched CQS ABS fund, a long / short relative value strategy in asset backed securities, was up 0.32 percent on the year and is outpacing the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), up 6.04 percent year to date. The fund benefited from its trading activity in US residential mortgage backed securities and European commercial mortgage backed securities but was hurt by losses in the hedging strategy.

Losers on the month included the Asia fund, Credit Long Short Fund, convertible and Quantitative Strategies Fund and European Equity Long Short Fund, all down under one percent.