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27 Jun 2007

Hedge Fund Combines With Freedom In $3.4 Billion Dollar Deal

Hedge fund manager GLG Partners announced that it plans to access the public markets through a reverse acquisition transaction with Freedom Acquisition Holdings, Inc.

This transaction values GLG at approximately $3.4 billion, in order to finance the acquisition of GLG, Freedom will use the proceeds from its initial public offering and borrow the balance from a third party lender to obtain the $1 billion to pay the cash portion of the purchase price. In addition, Freedom and its subsidiaries will issue 230 million shares of common stock valued at $2.4 billion to the GLG equity holders.

Under the terms of the agreement, the owners of hedge fund manager GLG will receive $1 billion in cash and 230 million shares of Freedom common stock. The combined company will be named GLG Partners, Inc. Shares of the combined company are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "GLG".

GLG is the largest independent alternative investment manager in Europe with over $20 billion in assets under management and the eleventh largest alternative asset manager in the world. GLG has built a highly scalable investment platform, infrastructure and support system, which represents a combination of world-class investment talent, cutting-edge technology and rigorous controls and risk management. GLG manages over 40 funds, as well as managed accounts for high net worth individuals and institutions, using both alternative and long only strategies and products.

"This strategic transaction is an important step in building GLG's global business, affording us the opportunity to increase brand awareness and expand in major targeted markets, including the US, Middle East and Asia," said Noam Gottesman, Founder, Managing Director and Co-CEO of GLG.

25 Jun 2007

Independent Valuations And Hedge Fund Risk Control

Recent financial statistics have shown that pension plans are beginning to out-pace high net individuals with respect to hedge fund investing. At the same time, sub-prime funds struggle in the aftermath of blow-ups such as Amaranth and Bayou.

According to Dr. Susan M. Mangiero, CFA, Accredited Valuation Analyst and certified Financial Risk Manager, "Pension fiduciaries are on the hook for making sure that they have done everything possible to avoid a hedge fund meltdown. We want to help plan sponsors before trouble starts. Issues such as independent valuations and good risk controls are essential but that is just the tip of the iceberg."

In an effort to assist plan sponsors in this area, Pension Governance is presenting the Hedge Fund Toolbox series today, (June 26th) and later this week (June 28). The discussion covers the role of the pension consultant and proper valuation policies and procedures.

The Hedge Fund Toolbox is a series of six webinars that focus on hedge fund economics, operations and legal considerations. These two events are hosted by Pension Governance as a way to shed light on a sometimes mysterious corner of the investment world.

Pension Governance is an independent research and analysis company that focuses on benefit plan investment risk, corporate strategy, valuation and accounting issues, with the fiduciary perspective in mind. The company is sponsored by HedgeCo.Net, Albourne Village, Lipper Hedge World and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.

24 Jun 2007

Congress Publishes Report on Hedge Funds

The Congressional Research Service recently published a report to Congress on pension fund investments in hedge funds.

The report indicates that pension funds that invest in hedge funds have increased to 24% in 2006, up from 19% in 2004. Total corporate pension fund assets allocated to hedge funds has grown from 1.3% in 2003, to approximately 2.1% in 2006.

The report also says that hedge funds have experienced a growth of 3,000% over the last 16 years.

It also describes the lack of SEC oversight, certain high-profile fund blowups, and the possible risk to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation associated with investments by pension funds in hedge funds.

"In our market based economy, market-discipline of risk taking is the rule and government regulation is the exception." Says The Presidents Working Group on Financial Markets.

$3 Billion Hedge Fund Hires New Manager

Henderson Global Investors, the independent asset manager with over £61 billion ($121.9 billion) under management, has appointed a new sales manager for their $3 billion hedge fund division. Jill Hodges joined last week and will report to Alastair Barrie, director of global hedge fund sales.

Kate O'Neill, Director of Pan European Distribution and Hedge Funds at Henderson, said: “We are delighted to have attracted someone of Jill's calibre to join the team. Henderson has built a credible hedge fund business exploiting the in-house talent we have developed across multiple asset classes. Jill's experience in financial markets and hedge funds combined with her strong network of contacts in Europe will support us in our efforts to continue to grow the business.”

Jill joins from Mt Thaler Investment Management where she was Director of Marketing responsible for sales, marketing and investor relations for European clients. She has also been an equity analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in London and a Consultant for Ernst and Young Consulting in both Europe and the US. Jill has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Henderson currently has over $3 billion under management in its hedge fund business spread across 13 funds which are split into four groups: (1) long / short directional equity funds; (2) market neutral funds with a regional focus; (3) equity long / short style rotational funds; and (4) fixed income multi strategy and single strategy funds.

22 Jun 2007

Deutsche Bank Launches Hedge Fund Consulting Business

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. announced plans to launch a hedge fund consulting business. John Budzyna has joined as a managing director and head of hedge fund consulting within the bank’s Global Prime Finance business. At Deutsche Bank, Budzyna will build and manage the new hedge fund consulting business. He is based in New York and reports to Barry Bausano and Jonathan Hitchon, Co-Heads of Global Prime Finance.

“We are pleased to welcome John to our team and confident that his vast experience offering strategic advice to hedge funds on accounting, operations and best practices will provide the insight necessary to make our hedge fund consulting business a success,” said Bausano.

Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank Global Prime Finance was named the #2 global provider of prime brokerage services to hedge fund clients by Global Custodian magazine.

Budzyna joins Deutsche Bank with over 30 years of experience in public accounting and consulting. He recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of Olympia Capital Associates, L.P., a hedge fund administrator. Prior to joining Olympia, Budzyna was a senior partner and co-head of the hedge fund practice at Ernst & Young and a partner in charge of the hedge fund practice at Arthur Andersen, where he spent 28 years.

21 Jun 2007

Hedge Fund Contracts Acquisitions Group For Billion Dollar Project

New York hedge fund Fairhills Capital has entered into a contract with Corporate Acquisitions Group to identify, contract, and manage the process of acquiring up to $1 billion in private companies in the food service industry sector.

The final sale price includes approximately 80% in cash, as well as 20% future stock in the new entity. Current ownership is also being offered the opportunity to continue to run their respective companies in a salaried position.

The contract was established on February 2, 2007 between both parties. During the following 30 days, 13 companies in 6 states were brought into the project with a total value of $145 million, $15 million in EBIDTA, $14.7 million in real estate, and $54 million in other assets.

On April 13, 2007 the hedge fund began closing on the first business purchase within the project.

As of May 31, 2007, 33 companies were involved with a total project value of $432 million. Over $79 million had already closed and the project was anticipated to be completed and closed by the end of August 2007.

The 33 companies currently in the project represent sole proprietors, C Corporations, S Corporations, and LLC organizations in 22 states including Hawaii.

Corporate Acquisition Group has worked with hundreds of similar business purchases, and continues to offer such services to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, private equity groups, and business owners.

20 Jun 2007

Hedge Fund Citadel Licensed to Operate in Bermuda

Hedge fund Citadel Solutions LLC announced today that the Bermuda Monetary Authority has approved their new branch, making Citadel Solutions Bermuda Ltd. the first company licensed by the BMA to provide administration services to hedge funds.

Effective immediately, Citadel Solutions Bermuda Ltd. will provide middle office and fund administration services to hedge funds as part of the global Citadel Solutions team. It will operate as the headquarters for the firm’s offshore administration platform, servicing the needs of clients domiciled across Europe, Asia and other non U.S. locations.

Robin Bedford has been named Director of the Bermuda branch and will be responsible for leading the operation. He joined Citadel Solutions earlier this month and brings with him nearly a decade of hedge fund administration experience. Most recently, he was President of Dundee Leeds. Mr. Bedford commented, “Citadel Solutions has demonstrated commitment and dedication to become a premium provider of administration solutions. I am delighted to be part of this team.”

John Buckley, President of Citadel Solutions LLC said: “Approval by the BMA is an important step in the further development of our activities. With the addition of Robin to our leadership team, we are well-positioned to become a leader in offshore fund administration. Robin and the Citadel Solutions Bermuda team build upon our unique service offering, the delivery of Operational Alpha to our clients.”

Citadel Solutions LLC is a subsidiary of Citadel Investment Group launched in 2007. The firm brings together experts in hedge fund operations, financial control and technology to offer hedge fund administrative services.

19 Jun 2007

UK Hedge Fund Puts $91 Million In US' Northern Trust

UK fund of hedge funds Gottex Market Neutral Trust Limited has announced that Chicago based multi-bank Northern Trust has been selected to provide custody and fund administration services to £45.35 million pounds Sterling (approximately $91 million).

The Guernsey registered fund of hedge funds is a closed-ended investment company trading on the London Stock Exchange. It has a global focus and seeks to achieve its investment objective through investing in underlying, independently market neutral hedge funds.

Sue Baines, Global Fund Services sales manager at Northern Trust said, "We're delighted to be working with Gottex Fund Management as we continue to grow our alternative fund administration business. This is the first listed fund to be established under the recently introduced Guernsey registered closed-ended investment fund regime that enables regulatory consent to be granted within 72 hours of the application being submitted."

Northern Trust has a growing network of 84 offices in 18 U.S. states and has international offices in 13 locations in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. As of March 31, 2007, Northern Trust had assets under custody of $3.8 trillion, and assets under investment management of $756 billion. Northern Trust, founded in 1889, has earned distinction as an industry leader in combining high-touch service and expertise with innovative products and technology.

Founded in 1992, Gottex is a global investment management group specializing in absolute return strategies. With funds under management of approximately $11 billion, Gottex offers nine co mingled fund of hedge funds products and a variety of managed account solutions and specializes in conservative and market neutral strategies. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland Gottex has offices in London, New York, Boston and Hong Kong, and affiliate offices in Sydney and Montevideo.

Reuters Launches Risk Management Interface For Hedge Funds

Reuters has announced the launch of a new risk management solution for the hedge fund industry. According to the press release, "Risk management is now vital to hedge funds as they trade an ever broader set of structured instruments across all asset classes."

JRisk On Demand can be accessed globally via a standard web-browser interface allowing users to view detailed intra-day risk measures as well as profit and loss and position information.

Andrew White, Global Head of Reuters Trade and Risk Management said, “JRisk On Demand marks a major milestone by providing tailored risk management to the hedge fund industry. We are meeting the demand for real-time, cross asset risk management coupled with the reliability synonymous with Reuters. As a hosted solution it makes state of the art risk management an easy and immediate reality for hedge funds.”

Reuters has 16,900 staff in 94 countries, including 2,400 editorial staff in 196 bureaus serving 131 countries. In 2006, Reuters revenues were £2.6 billion ($5.1 billion). Reuters acquired Palo Alto based Application Networks in June 2006 in order to benefit from state-of-the-art technology and experience in managing structured products and credit derivatives.

Reuters JRisk On Demand will be showcased on the Reuters stand at GAIM in Monaco 18th-20th June.

18 Jun 2007

Hedge Fund Investors Call For Independent Commitee

Two hedge fund shareholders with major stakes in TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, JANA Partners LLC and SAC Capital Advisors LLC, today sent a letter to Ameritrade's Board of Directors questioning their recent announcement regarding the exploration of strategic combinations.

The two hedge fund investors called on the Board to create a special committee free from influence by the company's largest shareholder to explore such combinations. In addition, JANA and SAC provided the Board with their own analysis of what they called the "massive value creation opportunity" inherent in a combination with E*Trade Financial or Charles Schwab.

In today's letter, JANA and SAC challenged TD Ameritrade's suggestion that the timing may not be right for such a combination, and called on the Board to demonstrate why such a transaction at this time would not be in shareholders' best interests.

They also stated their belief that the Board's strategic review process, as described by TD Ameritrade this week, fails to cleanse the Board's review of what they called "glaring" conflicts of interest stemming from the influence of Toronto-Dominion, including Toronto-Dominion's desire to maintain substantial levels of ownership and influence in TD Ameritrade and its reliance on the company to advance its own business strategy.

The letter states, "TD Ameritrade has poured over $200 million into advertising since the merger with TD Waterhouse and maintains over 100 branches at an estimated annual cost of $75 million, yet has produced little in the way of asset growth. In the 12 months ended March 31, 2007, the number of total customer accounts has grown by less than 3%, and the number of more valuable qualified accounts (those with more than $2,000 in assets) has actually declined."

"Additionally, given the Board's desire to address these matters in full public view, we believe it is all the more important that shareholders have a full and accurate accounting of the Board's actions with respect to possible strategic combinations, so that they may judge for themselves the Board's conduct and whether each director has honored his fiduciary duties."

Jana Partners is a $5 billion dollar activist fund based in San Francisco. The fund, run by Barry Rosenstein, has core long and short positions in companies in which it constantly reviews strategic alternatives. It also invests in under followed orphan equities and other event-driven strategies.

SAC Capital Advisors is a group of hedge funds founded by Steven A. Cohen. Investors' money is channeled through seven different "portfolio companies" or fund, including a core fund, a global diversified fund, and a health-care fund, each with an offshore counterpart. Cohen and his business partners are the biggest investors in SAC Capital Advisors, comprising some 60% of its assets.

14 Jun 2007

Specialized China Fund Launch

Hong Kong and London based fund of hedge funds manager KGR Capital announced that it has launched the KGR Capital China Absolute Return Fund focused specifically on hedge funds invested in greater China.

The Cayman Islands domiciled hedge fund of funds has a minimum investment of $100,000. The initial strategy is to invest in about 10 locally invested hedge funds. The fund's manager is targeting returns of about 20% annually over the longer term and is expecting volatility of about 10%.

Mark White, chief executive of KGR Capital Europe said in a statement, "Early indications are that our selected managers have been able to maintain positive returns this month despite the recent sharp sell-off in the A-share market."

Hong Kong-based KGR Capital specializes in Asia strategies and was formed in 2002 by John Knox, Nick George and Christopher Rampton, who worked together in Asia at Jardine Fleming and JPMorgan. The firm launched its first specialist Asian fund of funds, the KGR Capital Asia Pacific Absolute Return Fund, in August 2003. KGR Capital employs 15 professionals at offices in Hong Kong and London.

Hedge Fund Manager Faces Prison Time

In an investigation conducted by the FBI, the US Postal Service, and the SEC, hedge fund manager Joseph Ferona now faces prison time after pleading guilty to a fraud charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 24, Ferona disappeared in 2005 but was arrested earlier this year in Austin, Texas.

From October 2003 through May 2005, Ferona devised a scheme to defraud investors of money by false pretenses by soliciting individuals to invest funds into a “hedge fund” known as Global Prosperity Fund. Ferona purported to operate this fund through Castle Rock Trading Company, based in Castle Rock and Franktown, Colorado.

However, he was not registered with the State of Colorado. As part of the scheme, Ferona made fraudulent representations to investors, including that the fund realized annual returns or profits in excess of 40%, that returns for 2005 were projected as reaching 50 percent, and that the fund earned double digit returns during both good and bad market conditions.

Ferona allegedly concealed massive trading loses by generating and distributing false and fictitious quarterly and monthly investor account statements, falsely depicting each investors’ fund balance as appreciating based on the falsely reported returns.

“There is no such thing as a ‘guaranteed’ or ‘insured’ investment,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid. “Investments that promise unrealistic returns with no risk are virtually always fraudulent.”

Ferona now faces 23 counts of mail fraud, each carrying a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine. He faces five counts of wire fraud, each carrying up to 20 years in federal prison, and a $250,000 fine. He also faces 9 counts of money laundering, with four of the counts carrying up to 20 years imprisonment, and a $500,000 fine, and 5 of the counts carrying up to 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.

13 Jun 2007

Scandinavian Hedge Fund Of Funds Announces Portfolio Exits

Petter Hoffström, CFO of Scandinavian hedge fund of funds Amanda Capital PLC announced today that several of its investment companies were sold, generating a cash flow of over EUR 1 million ($1.3 million) for Amanda.

Eltel Networks was sold to another private equity company, Eltel Networks is the Northern European market leader for the installation and maintenance of infrastructure for electricity and telecommunications. Eltel Networks headquarter is in Espoo, Finland and it employs 8,200 professionals across Europe primarily in the Nordics, the Baltics and Poland. The exit is due to be accounted in Amanda's result during the third quarter of this year.

In addition two other private equity funds have recapitalized their target companies. These transactions generate proceeds to Amanda, which will be accounted in Amanda's result in the second quarter in 2007.

Amanda Capital Group is a private equity investment company. Its parent company (Amanda Capital PLC) is the first publicly listed private equity hedge fund of funds in Scandinavia. The company has investments in 24 different private equity funds and in three funds of funds managed by Amanda. It is one of Finland's largest private equity fund investment management companies. In addition to its own investments, Amanda manages several private equity fund portfolios under consultancy agreements.

Amanda also manages five private equity hedge funds of funds, which have several domestic and international investors. Amanda Group currently has more than EUR 1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) in assets under management and has made investments in more than 100 private equity funds in Europe, the United States, Asia and Russia.

Hedge Fund Activism, Friendly or Hostile?

With an estimated $1.2 trillion under management, hedge funds are having an impact on the financial markets. In one of the first studies to shed light on how this is happening, researchers at Wharton and three other business schools find that hedge funds' efforts to improve companies they hold big stakes in have spillover benefits for all shareholders: a quick 5% to 7% jump in stock prices.

The gains, measured as an "abnormal return" on top of the broad market's, were nearly 11% when a hedge fund pushed for the targeted company to be sold. This makes hedge funds far more effective than other activist shareholders, such as pension funds and mutual funds, the researchers say.

According to the study, the share-price boost came during the 40-day period surrounding a hedge fund's public announcement of a push for change. "The price gain came immediately upon the announcement," said Wei Jiang, a finance professor at Columbia Business School who is a visiting faculty member at Wharton. The gains were therefore caused by investors' anticipation of improved company performance to follow. "The improvements will occur anywhere from a year to two years down the road," she added.

Return on equity typically soared in the 12 months after a hedge fund announced it had targeted a company. The research is reported in a paper titled, "Hedge Fund Activism, Corporate Governance and Firm Performance." Co-authors are Alon Brav of Duke University, Frank Partnoy of the University of San Diego and Randall Thomas of Vanderbilt University.

Using a large hand-collected dataset of hedge fund activism in the U.S. over the period 2001 through 2005, the study found that most tactics are non-confrontational, and attain success or partial success in two-thirds of the cases. However, hedge funds seldom seek control of target companies. The market reacts favorably to hedge fund activism, as the abnormal return upon announcement of potential activism is in the range of 5-7 percent, with no apparent reversal in the subsequent year.

The study also revealed much about the types of companies hedge funds go after. "I thought hedge funds would target troubled firms, and in the end that turned out not to be the case," said Jiang. Instead, she said, hedge funds seek healthy firms with undervalued stock, and then use their clout to press for management changes, dividend increases or other moves to benefit shareholders.

The study looked at 888 cases involving shareholder activism by 131 hedge funds from the start of 2001 through 2005. The cases were identified from news accounts of activist funds, those pushing for corporate change rather than just holding the stock as a passive investment.

Fund activism ranges from friendly to hostile, often involving more than one type of pressure. Nearly two-thirds of the announcements in the study merely state that the fund intends to communicate regularly with the company's board to enhance shareholder value. In about a quarter of the cases, the fund makes a formal shareholder proposal for change. Proxy fights to replace board members occur in 11.5% of cases. Fund pressure is effective. In about 41% of cases, the funds get the changes demanded, while they achieve partial success in another 26%.

12 Jun 2007


Barbarian Launches Film Production Hedge Fund

"The current influx of funds from hedge funds, private equity funds and institutional investors into studio and independent distributor funds has created a considerable opportunity on the content creator side of the Hollywood equation," says Aaron Kaufman of the Barbarian Investment Fund.

Unlike recently formed film investment funds, Barbarian brings together 5 notable film producers such as Benderspink (The Ring, American Pie), Original Media (Half Nelson), GreeneStreet (In The Bedroom) and others. The fund provides a mitigated risk portfolio of non-correlated assets by investing only in films under 10 million that have 80 to 100% of their budgets secured by foreign pre-sales.

With 100,000. as minimum investment, a five year lock up period and 2% management fee, Barbarian partners with independent producers who specialize in independent films budgeted at less than 10 million.

Several nine-figure deals have recently been struck between large institutional investors such as JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland to name a few, and studios such as Disney, Paramount and Warner Brothers that fund multi-year production slates costing more than $3 billion.

Private equity and hedge funds are now also entering the market, funding large scale ventures such as Virtual studios and Legendary Pictures, these groups have recently funded films such as Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Poseidon and 300.

Hedge Fund Search Engine Launched

A new vertical hedge fund search engine was launched yesterday by Institutional Investor, according to their statement, "The new beta version provides financial professionals with customized access to valuable hedge fund content."

The search engine is powered by Convera Corporation a provider of vertical search services for publishers. Residing on Institutional Investor’s Web site, as well as its own URL, the customized search engine allows professionals in the hedge fund industry to search deeply into highly relevant Web sites selected by hedge fund experts. The search engine is designed to return highly relevant results for traders and investors who need timely and targeted access to rankings, news and research.

“Institutional Investor has long been a trusted source of information for the financial community,” said Patrick Condo, Convera’s president and chief executive officer. “A vertical search engine focused on the complex and dynamic hedge fund industry will deliver important content for one of Institutional Investor’s key professional communities. The new search engine is a natural extension of Institutional Investor’s current product range and provides an extremely useful tool for anyone working in or dealing with the hedge fund industry.”

Institutional Investor publishes market products in the hedge fund sector including Alpha magazine, Hedge Fund Daily and Alternative Investment News and organizes conferences and events for the hedge fund community.

8 Jun 2007

Biomet to Sell To Hedge Funds

The Board of Directors of Biomet Inc. announced that it has unanimously recommended to shareholders to accept an increased offer from hedge funds in a private equity consortium to acquire Biomet for $46.00 per share in cash, or an equity value of $11.4 billion.

Under the terms of the revised merger agreement, the consortium, which includes affiliates of hedge fund investor Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, private buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and $30 billion hedge fund TPG, will commence a tender offer on or before June 14, 2007, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Biomet's common stock.

The $46.00 per share offer price represents a premium of 32.3% over the closing price of Biomet's common stock on April 3, 2006, the trading day prior to public speculation that the company was exploring strategic alternatives. Biomet subsequently confirmed on April 6, 2006 that it had retained Morgan Stanley to assist it in exploring strategic alternatives.

In a statement, the hedge fund/buyout group said, "We are pleased that the consortium will be in a position to provide the company with financial and operational resources to support its future growth."

Biomet, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture, and market products used primarily by musculoskeletal medical specialists in both surgical and non-surgical therapy. Headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Biomet and its subsidiaries currently distribute products in more than 100 countries.

The Blackstone Group's alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate opportunity funds, funds of hedge funds, mezzanine funds, senior debt funds, proprietary hedge funds and closed-end mutual funds.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is one of the world's oldest and most experienced private equity firms specializing in management buyouts. Over the past 30 years, KKR has completed over 150 transactions with a total value of over US$279 billion.

TPG is a private investment partnership that was founded in 1992 and currently has more than $30 billion under management. The firm has offices in San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Fort Worth and other locations globally.

Kassirer Hedge Funds Up for May

Canadian hedge fund Kassirer Market Neutral Limited Partnership announced today that earnings were up 1.08% in May 2007.

"Deal flow remains buoyant reflecting low interest rates, low debt default rates, easy financing, and the ubiquitous private equity buyers." Mark Kassirer, CEO of the hedge fund said.

"Competition for assets in this environment has been heated, and bumps on deals are more common now than at any time since the inception of our fund."

The hedge fund profited from a broadly diversified portfolio of merger arbitrage and special situations positions. The fund has maintained a relatively defensive stance and has historic volatility of half the volatility of bonds and one sixth of the volatility of equities, according to Kassirer.

6 Jun 2007

Skylight Comes In At #1 For Real Estate Hedge Funds

Pacific Continental Fund Management’s Skylight Capital Build-Up fund has come first in a ranking of real estate hedge funds for Sharpe ratio over the past 36 months and third for compound annual return.

The Barclay Group’s findings prove that Skylight is one of the highest performing and consistent real estate hedge funds. Skylight reported returns of 1.05% for the April trading period and 69.49% culminative growth to date.

Pacific Continental Fund Management have said that these returns have provided investors with growth equal to around double that of the underlying housing market in the fund’s target area of the North.

Peter Phelan, hedge fund manager at Pacific Continental Fund Management, says: "Skylight’s ability to add value while minimizing risk and volatility continues to attract investors. The continued shortfall of new build properties and increased demand from the buy-to-let investor sector support the fund’s strategy."

The main objective of the Skylight Capital Build-Up Fund is to achieve medium to long term capital appreciation by investing in distressed residential properties in the UK.

Skylight Capital Build-Up Fund invests in residential property in the north of England, the hedge fund strategy focuses primarily on buy-to-let in the first time buyer sector of the market. Current assets under management are £34.18 million ($68 million).

Hedge Funds Investing in China's Energy Crisis

According to an 18-month investigation by StockInterview's research team, China is facing an energy crisis of epic proportions. Hedge funds such as SAC Capital, Citadel Associates and Renaissance Technologies have bought shares in companies which are trying to help China overcome its energy crisis.

StockInterview's new publication, "Investing in China's Energy Crisis." reports that China's steel industry is growing at a level not seen since the European and North American industrialization era of 1875-1900 and far greater than the post-war reconstruction of 1950 - 1970. For example, China is producing 34% of the world's steel.

China's cities are being built at an unimaginable rate. About 3,000 new automobiles are hitting the streets every day. China consumes 44% of the world's iron ore mined, 25% of the world's aluminum and 20% of the world's copper production.

For this massive production, China needs energy. Yet in January, the country began importing coal for the first time in its history. It is also the world's largest producer and consumer of coal.

With every new energy discovery, the find is immediately earmarked for new production facilities. The natural gas from a recent discovery of 3.8 trillion cubic meters in northeastern Sichuan Province was instantly assigned to continue fueling new and existing smelters.

Top money managers such as Warren Buffet and Eric Sprott have already invested in these China-energy companies according to the report. is a financial online news service, primarily reporting on uranium market news and the nuclear fuel cycle. StockInterview has also become highly visited for its research throughout the energy sector.

5 Jun 2007

Disclosure Advisory Board Speaks Out On Hedge Fund Secrecy

In a newly published white paper by the Disclosure Advisory Board, "Shareholder ID: The Resounding Silence of Non-Disclosure," the Board calls for investors to reveal their identities and for regulators to re-examine existing shareholder disclosure rules, that have now been outdated by new derivative investments.

Further, the Board contends that lack of shareholder identity disclosure is negatively affecting the U.S. capital markets by making companies susceptible to the agenda of hedge funds and other short-term holders.

The Disclosure Advisory Board is a 15 person council of leaders in the corporate, regulatory, investor, reporting and academic communities organized by PR Newswire. The white paper, the second in a series from the Disclosure Advisory Board, was published in conjunction with the largest gathering of investor relations professionals at the National Investor Relations Institute's (NIRI) annual conference in Orlando, FL, June 3-6.

"Vibrant equity markets depend on the active participation of investors. However, certain practices in the U.S. send mixed signals and put many investors at a disadvantage," said Mark Hynes, chairman and spokesperson of the Disclosure Advisory Board, and managing director of Global Investor Relations Services for PR Newswire. "Non-disclosure on the part of investors is not just an issue for public companies. It creates a disorderly market for all parties involved.

"Yet it is the company that bears most of the risk. Lack of investor information exposes shares to potential price manipulation from unknown holders with unknown intentions, increasing a company's vulnerability to takeovers and proxy fights. This cloak of investor secrecy also makes companies susceptible to the agenda of hedge funds and other short-term holders who may provoke actions not favorable to longer-term business objectives."

Hynes concluded, "The U.S. shareholder identity problem calls for immediate action. Shareholder non-disclosure is creating a disorderly market in the U.S., making it less attractive than investment venues in other parts of the world. It is time for undisclosed shareholders to break their silence and announce who they are. Collective silence on this matter is no longer an option."

100 Women In Hedge Funds Partners With DataArt

100 Women in Hedge Funds announced that they have partnered with DataArt to update and automate their existing email systems, which were no longer capable of efficiently managing communications to the organization’s 6000 global members. The new system optimizes the functionality of existing mailing and communication structures, making the sophisticated workings of the database manageable and user friendly.

Amanda Pullinger, Executive Director of 100 Women in Hedge Funds said, “As 100 Women in Hedge Funds grows, we need to rely more heavily on technology-based solutions for appropriate and efficient communications. Partnering with DataArt to upgrade our email system was the first step to improve targeted communication to our 6,000 members.”

“For a decade, DataArt has been helping leading financial institutions and financial technology firms eliminate technology execution risks and streamline their business communication processes,” said Vica Vinogradova, Vice President of Corporate Communications at DataArt and a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. “We are happy to have been of assistance to 100 Women in Hedge Funds in their efforts to strengthen their membership communications infrastructure.”

100 Women in Hedge Funds serves over 6,000 alternative investment management investors and practitioners through unique educational, professional development, networking and philanthropic initiatives. Since its first session in 2002, 100 Women in Hedge Funds has hosted more than 100 events globally, connected more than 150 senior women through their Peer Advisory Councils and raised in excess of $10 million for philanthropic causes in the areas of women's health, education and mentoring.

4 Jun 2007

Hedge Fund Platform Wins Laureate Award

Hedge fund platform, Logical Information Machines Inc.(LIM) has been recognized as a Laureate by the Computerworld Honors Program for Case Study Historis. This year's Honorees will be commemorated this evening at the 19th Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala Awards 2007 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

Computerworld Honors acknowledges individuals and organizations that have used information technology to benefit society. Each year, members of the Chairmen's Committee, a group of 100 Chairmen/CEOs of global technology companies, nominates individuals and organizations around the world whose visionary applications of information technology promote positive social and economic progress.

"We are honored to accept the Laureate Award from the respected publication Computerworld for the Case Study Historis," said Tony Kolton, LIM President and CEO. "We are glad to be recognized amongst all others whose visionary applications of information technology promote positive social and economic progress."

LIM's clients are among the world's largest hedge funds, mutual funds, banks and energy concerns. The firm was named 'Data Management Provider of the Year' by Energy Risk Magazine and was recently awarded "Best of the Web" by Forbes magazine for stock market research. Founded in 1988, LIM is headquartered in Chicago with offices in Austin, New York, London and Singapore.

The LIM Historis Server was chosen for its innovative application. Historis, unlike relational databases that utilize tables, stores data as defined series upon which advanced proprietary compression algorithms are used.

"Each Laureate selected for this honor understands the importance of using one's resources and technical prowess to benefit one's fellow man," said Bob Carrigan, Chairman of the Computerworld Honors Program Chairmen's Committee and President, IDG Communications.

Tycoon Launches Private Russian Fund

Russia’s tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov announced the creation of a new private investment fund based on his assets, the ONEXIM Group. The worth of new undertaking exceeds $17 billion, and a stake of 22-percent in GMK Norilsk Nickel is its major asset.

Dmitry Razumov, who had been Prokhorov’s deputy for strategy and M&A in Norilsk Nickel till 2005 will be ONEXIM Group’s General Director and Potanin's partner. Together they plan on reaching $30-billion capitalization in five years.

ONEXIM Group was named after a bank, the starting point for Potanin and Prokhorov in early 1990. "Despite the attempts to declare ONEXIM bankrupt, it met all commitments to creditors," Prokhorov clarified implication of the new undertaking’s name.

ONEXIM’s emergence actually completes the split of Interros assets between Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Potanin. The partners, however, no longer say that Potanin will buy out Prokhorov’s stake in Norilsk Nickel, although exactly this deal has been viewed the milestone in the friendly division of assets.

"We stake on the projects, where Russia has objective competitive advantage. Our experience, analysis of the market and of development trends of Russia’s and world economies convince us that innovation and high-tech projects are the most promising," Prokhorov said when presenting Onexim Group.

1 Jun 2007

Creidian Buyout By Activist Firms

Private activist buyout firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. (THL) and Insurance company, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF) announced that they have entered into a merger agreement under which Ceridian Corp. will be jointly acquired in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $5.3 billion. The announcement concludes Ceridian's previously announced exploration of strategic alternatives.

"The primary goal of the review of strategic alternatives that we announced on February 13, 2007, was to maximize value for our shareholders," said L. White Matthews, III, Chairman of Ceridian.

"We are very excited about our investment in Ceridian," said FNF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William P. Foley, II. FNF has a track record of managing business acquisitions. In 2003 FNF bought Alltel Information Services, under similar circumstances and used it as the cornerstone in building what is now Fidelity National Information Services, a nearly $10 billion market cap company.

THL Partners and FNF expect to bring co-investors into the transaction. FNF will own less than 50% of Ceridian at closing and will treat the Ceridian investment under the equity method of accounting for financial statement purposes, similar to its minority ownership stake in Sedgwick CMS, and will not consolidate the financial results of Ceridian.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ceridian shareholders will receive $36.00 per share in cash for each share of common stock they hold. The transaction will be presented to Ceridian shareholders for approval at Ceridian's Annual Meeting no later than September 21, 2007.

THL Partners is a successful private equity investment firm with approximately $20 billion of committed capital. FNF is a provider of title insurance, specialty insurance and claims management services, who with their underwriters cover approximately 29% of all title insurance policies in the United States.

Hedge Fund Investor Signs On With GHG Emmission Abatement Program

Hedge fund investor AIG Capital Partners announced they have agreed to become significant investors in London-based Sindicatum Carbon Capital Ltd, a principal financier/developer of green house gas (GHG) abatement projects globally. AIG joins Sindicatum Carbon's existing strategic shareholders, including Citi.

The GHG reduction sector has seen an explosive growth over the past two years. Sindicatum Carbon Capital has acquired a portfolio of project development rights and core technologies, and it has established technical relationships in its key areas of expertise.

Scott Foushee, Managing Director, AIG Capital Partners, said, "We are attracted by the rapidly growing carbon credit markets and how SCC's management team is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity. The investment in Sindicatum Carbon Capital reflects Global Investment Group's strong interest in the emerging carbon market and sustainability programs that help mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions."

Sindicatum Carbon Capital is a specialist climate mitigation company using capital and technology to convert GHG emissions into long-term sources of revenue in what has become a major new global market, that of environmental and greenhouse gas emission reductions. They will use the new capital to accelerate the development of its GHG reduction projects and investment in new and emerging technologies.

AIG Capital Partners is a member company of AIG Global Investment Group, who has more than us $687 billion in assets and has capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-manager hedge funds, private equity, and real estate.