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28 Sep 2007

FXCM’s Sentiment Aggressive Forex Managed Funds Up Over 25%

After a successful launch, FXCM's Sentiment Aggressive Managed Funds are up over 25% in its first two months since inception.

Clients had requested a more aggressive and highly leveraged version of FXCM's popular Sentiment Fund, so FXCM introduced its Sentiment Aggressive Fund in July of 2007.

These funds are divided into two strategic components, the first leverages FXCM's Speculative Sentiment Index (SSI) which gauges market sentiment to identify break out and trend trading opportunities. The second strategy is an approach that uses sophisticated technical strategies to harvest tops and bottoms in range bound markets.

This type of fund has found favor amongst many investors who are starting to recognize foreign exchange as an alternative asset class in any diversified portfolio.

In September 2006, FXCM held in excess of $215 million in customer funds out of a total of over $770 million held by Forex Dealer Members. While there are approximately 31 active Forex Dealer Members with liabilities to customers of approximately $795 million, FXCM holds approximately 1 out of every 3 dollars of customer funds held by Forex Dealer Members.

The company does warn however, that leveraged foreign exchange trading carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors.

Hegde Fund Article Awards

It was announced today in a press release that Lehman Brothers' research on the classification of hedge fund investment styles is one of this year's Martello Award winners for best research article in alternative investments.

Lehman Brothers' research authors Arik Ben Dor, Lev Dynkin, and Anthony Gould showed that there are inconsistencies between the actual and self-proclaimed hedge fund styles. They won the award for Best Practitioner Article, for their article "Style Analysis and Classification of Hedge Funds."

Sharing the honor with Lehman's team for Best Practitioner Article were Ben Branch of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Taewon Yang of California State University, for their article "Merger Deal Structures and Investment Strategies." The authors found that the level of wealth protection for the target firm's shareholders is likely to improve both the performance of merger/risk arbitrage trading positions and the chance of merger completion.

In the category of Best Academic Article, IXIS Corporate & Investment Bank, a subsidiary of Natixis, took the top award. Florent Pochon and Jérôme Teïletche penned the award-winning article "A Conditional Approach to Hedge Fund Risk." The authors applied a two-step conditional Bayesian approach to hedge fund risk. This approach has several advantages given specific features of hedge funds returns, notably non-linear exposure to standard assets returns and short sample history.

David McCarthy, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Martello Investment Management L.P., congratulated the recipients, "This year's winners have produced exceptional research that will contribute to investors' understanding of investment strategies and portfolio return and risk characteristics. We wish them continued success."

The annual Martello Award is sponsored by Martello Investment Management L.P., a specialist fund of funds and advisory firm based in Massachusetts. It honors the best research articles published in Institutional Investor, Inc.'s The Journal of Alternative Investments. Winners were chosen by the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Alternative Investments.

27 Sep 2007

600 Energy and Environmental Hedge Funds Now Listed

The Energy Hedge Fund Center, LLC has announced that it is now tracking over 600 energy and Recent trends include the growth of carbon and environmental energy funds and, as the total universe of energy hedge funds has grown and matured funds of hedge funds in the energy and environment sector.

Dr. Gary M. Vasey, co-founder of the Energy Hedge Fund Center, LLC said, "Our breakthrough study of hedge funds in energy issued in late 2004 identified 180 hedge funds, mostly equity long/short and commodity trading vehicles. Since then, the directory has grown three-fold and the types of strategies followed by hedge funds in energy and environment has also grown and matured."

"Today, nothing much has changed in terms of the attractiveness of all aspects of the energy industry for investors and that is reflected in the growing number of hedge funds that operate in the various energy markets and sectors."

Peter C. Fusaro, co-founder of the Energy Hedge Fund Sector and chairman of Global Change Associates in New York said, "We expect more energy commodity and green funds for 2008!.....Despite well publicized energy hedge fund blow ups, we continue to see more investors deploying capital in the energy and environmental sector. We also see the closure to investors of some larger funds and niche strategies which leads to more opportunities for new fund managers in this dynamic sector,"

Since its launch in October 2004, the directory has constantly grown reflecting investor appetite for energy oriented hedge funds.

26 Sep 2007

Hedge Funds Backup Habitat For Humanity

An initiative by the hedge fund community to provide New York City families with home ownership opportunities through Habitat for Humanity NY, has announced the launch of a campaign called Hedge Funds for Habitat.

Most immediately, this campaign will help Habitat-NYC complete its 41 unit affordable condominium buildings on Atlantic Avenue in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn, a $13 million state-of-the-art green complex and the largest multifamily complex ever constructed by any Habitat affiliate.

Championed by Stuart Feffer, co-chief executive officer of Lacrosse Global Fund Services, Hedge Funds for Habitat NY is calling on supporters from hedge funds, private equity firms and the service provider community who recognize that there are many working families in New York City living in unsafe and overcrowded conditions whose lives will be forever changed with a Habitat home.

“Our initial goal is to help Habitat-NYC give 41 hardworking families a safe place to live, the opportunity to realize their dreams of home ownership and the ability to secure their future,” Feffer said. “Hedge fund professionals know that investing in human capital is key to the success of our industry... and our city. Safe, decent and affordable homes will help New York’s working families to thrive. And that helps all of us flourish.”

“Habitat-NYC is proud to partner with Stuart Feffer, LaCrosse Global Fund Services and New York City’s hedge fund industry,” said Josh Lockwood, acting executive director of Habitat-NYC. “This unique collaboration unites hedge fund leaders.”

Living up to the Habitat motto “we give a hand up, not a handout,” future homeowner families will work alongside volunteers to construct their own simple, decent and affordable homes. The Hedge Funds for Habitat campaign will help underwrite the recruitment, selection and financial literacy training of the 41 first-time home buyers and help enable Habitat-NYC to complete these “green” condominiums.

Designed by Dattner Architects, construction includes energy efficient and environmentally friendly materials and design. The complex is expected to qualify for a LEED rating, which will allow the homeowners to save up to 30% on their energy bills and raise their families in a healthy home.

Bear Stearns Hires New Hedge Fund Manager

Bear Stearns today announced new additions to their staff, among others, Douglas C. Stern, a senior managing director and industry veteran who will help manage the prime brokerage sales team focused on the firm’s largest hedge fund relationships.

“Bear Stearns Prime Brokerage Services offers clients the best products and service by top professionals in the business,” said Louis Lebedin, head of Prime Brokerage Services. “These additions to our staff will add terrific value to our franchise and will help us to provide clients with more world-class products and capabilities.” The strength of the prime brokerage franchise contributed to record revenues for Bear Stearns’ Global Clearing Services division for the third quarter of 2007.

Douglas Stern, who has 23 years experience in institutional sales and prime brokerage services, joins from Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage unit, where for seven years he was responsible for managing relationships and developing business with some of that firm’s largest clients. He also managed a team responsible for newly launched hedge funds. Mr. Stern holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Lawrence University.

In the 2007 Global Custodian Prime Brokerage Survey, Bear Stearns was ranked the No. 3 prime broker globally and was awarded 50 out of a possible 72 “Best in Class” awards. In the latest Lipper HedgeWorld Prime Brokerage survey, Bear Stearns was the leading prime broker by assets for U.S. hedge funds and the No. 2 prime broker for the largest non-US funds.

25 Sep 2007

“Hedge Funds Demystified”

Applied Learning announced today the launch of the “Open Course” Program, the first course being, “Hedge Funds Demystified”. It will run in London on December 4tt offering tutors of outstanding caliber and experience. It will be the first time Applied Learning has opened its courses to institutional clients and (individual) financial professionals.

The one-day course will allow delegates to get an insider’s insight into how hedge funds really work, the different investment strategies and techniques hedge funds employ, who invests in hedge funds, and why. Understanding different hedge fund investment styles will be addressed, as well as the regulation and risk management of the hedge fund sector.

Gerald Ashley, director at Applied Learning says, “ While we do not expect Northern Rock style queues, we are seeing a lot of interest in training in understanding risk and behavioral finance. The current market turmoil is an ideal backdrop for launching this course. Investment professionals need facts, not half- baked opinions and vague rumors about how hedge funds really operate. This course is the right topic, with the right content, with the very best trainer and critically, available at the right time.”

This will be the first time that a wider audience will be able to attend Applied Learning training courses. The training company has established a solid reputation as a high quality provider of professional level training for the world’s major banks and trading institutions. Now it brings innovative and specialized training, which in the past was available only in-house, to financial markets professionals.

Future topics in the Program will include specialist training on credit derivatives, behavioral finance and commodity investment. The Open Courses will be initially available in London with plans to roll out to other financial centers in 2008.

24 Sep 2007

AEGON launches the UK's first Ethical Cautious Managed fund

AEGON Asset Management has announced the coming launch of the UK’s first Ethical Cautious Managed fund to the retail market on 1 March 2007.

The Ethical Cautious Managed fund marks another first for AEGON Asset Management, which was also the first to launch an Ethical Corporate Bond fund in April 2000, a move since copied by many of its rivals.

It is one of three new funds AEGON Asset Management is bringing to the market, which also includes a UK Cautious Managed fund and a UK Opportunities fund.

The UK Cautious Managed and Ethical Cautious Managed funds have been launched in response to demand from UK investors and advisers for lower risk managed funds as an alternative to with-profits and cash investments. They aim to provide a relatively safe and steady return through a low volatility investment strategy with a maximum of 60% of the funds held in equities and 40% in fixed income.

Both Cautious Managed funds build on AEGON Asset Management’s recognized capabilities in the UK equity and fixed income sectors. The Ethical Cautious Managed combines AEGON Asset Management’s stringent ethical criteria with a cautious investment philosophy, bringing together the expertise of both its Ethical Equity team and its Ethical Corporate Bond team.

Audrey Ryan will manage the Ethical Cautious Managed fund, supported by Iain Buckle. Audrey also runs AEGON Asset Management’s Ethical Equity fund, which is AA rated by Forsyth-OBSR and has achieved consistent strong top quartile performance over one, three and five years*. Iain Buckle is also the support manager of AEGON Asset Management’s Ethical Corporate Bond Fund, which is AA rated by Forsyth-OBSR.

The Ethical Cautious Managed fund intends to take an unconstrained investment approach, capitalizing on the recognized research capabilities of the UK equity team.

Ryan said, “The Ethical Cautious Managed fund will aim to take advantage of our experience and in-depth knowledge of the UK equities market without any benchmark constraints. It will be a high conviction, stock-picking fund with no sector or stock limits and have an ideal range of 50 to 60 stocks at launch.”

Jon Bennett, AEGON’s director of third party business, said, “We believe there is significant demand from advisers and investors for a real and viable alternative to with-profits and cash investments. At AEGON Asset Management, we are well placed to deliver this alternative, with our recognized strength in the fixed income market and growing reputation for UK equities.

To mark the launch of these new funds, early investors will benefit from a 2.5% discount reducing the initial charge to 3% until 30 April 2007. This means that if the 3% initial commission is rebated there are zero up-front costs for the investor.

AEGON Asset Management UK's assets under management totaled more than £40.4 billion ($8.1 billion). The company's activities are divided into three business areas, Institutional Business, Insured Business and Retail-Fund Business.

21 Sep 2007

Babylon Admitted To Participate in Iraqi Central Bank T-Bill Auction

Iraqi hedge fund `The Babylon Fund´ announced that today, as the first foreigners, they were admitted by the Iraqi Central Bank to participate in the primary auction of Iraqi-dinar denominated 6 month and 12 month T-bills.

The investment case for T-bills: Annual net yields are running at approx 18% for 6 month T-bills, and the exchange rate is consistently appreciating against the USD via a managed float regime.

The inflation rate is also now quickly falling down from extreme levels. In January it was running at 50%+ , but YTD it's now down to 5%.

Babylon's winning streak continued during July and August, with a rise of 3,8% in the Babylon Fund's NAV-price.

Of the hedge fund's direct Iraqi holdings, bond yields steered higher upon a combination of dried-up flow and risk aversion factors partly based upon the perceived weakened state of the government whose success might be seen as being indirectly linked to the bond payment stream.

On the other hand, in the ISX stock market in Baghdad, prices rose strongly, as did value and volumes traded, as participants positioned themselves ahead of foreigners' entrance into the ISX, which was allowed as of 1st of August.

According to a statement, Babylon's aim is to provide long-term capital growth from an investment portfolio consisting of Iraqi and Iraqi-dependent securities. The investment process is mainly top-down driven, with a mix of fundamental analysis and portfolio diversification characteristics, aiming to be regarded as an easy, safe and efficient Gateway towards investing into the region.

Amanda Invests $7 Million In Finnish Fund

Hedge Fund Amanda Capital Plc announced today in a press release that they have invested five million euros ($7 million) in a Finnish private equity fund, the MB Equity Fund IV.

Equity Fund IV will continue MB Funds' earlier investment strategy by investing in medium-sized companies in Nordic countries.

The Amanda Group is a private equity investment company. Its parent company (Amanda Capital Plc is the first publicly listed private equity fund-of-funds in Scandinavia. The parent company has investments in 24 different private equity funds and in four funds of funds managed by Amanda.

Amanda Group is one of Finland's largest private equity fund investment management companies. The Group manages several private equity fund portfolios under consultancy agreements. It manages also five private equity funds of funds, which have several domestic and international investors.

Amanda Group currently has more than EUR 1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) in assets under management (original
investment commitments) and has made investments in more than 100 private equity funds in Europe, the United States, Asia and Russia.

20 Sep 2007

Asia Value Formula Fund Launched By SAM

Sensible Asset Management today announced the coming launch of the Asia Value Formula Fund. The new hedge fund aims to provide long-term capital growth over an investment horizon of 3 to 5 years, by investing primarily in the constituents of the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index.

The aims are to outperform the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index by applying the "Value Formula", an active, systematic and quantitative value based approach to identify undervalued securities comprising the index that will benefit from the upside correction between the market's short-term inefficiency and long-term efficiency.

With a minimum investment of $100,000 and a 5% management fee, the hedge fund aims for a launch date of October 15th of this year. Sensible Asset Management was founded in December 2004 with the aim of offering a broad range of products and solutions.

19 Sep 2007

MPC Samsara Hedge Fund Launch

The MPC Samsara Team announced the launch of a new hedge fund, the MPC Samsara Fund. The hedge fund will be run by Ajay Gambhir and he will follow the same successful strategy as the JPMorgan Europe Dynamic Long Short hedge fund of which Ajay was the sole portfolio manager.

This hedge fund returned, net of fees, 31.5% in 2005 and 40.2% in 2006. The Fund won the Eurohedge Best European Equities Hedge Fund 2006 award (under $500m) with a fund size of $400m (as at February 2007). Over the three years to end 2006 the Europe Dynamic Long Short hedge fund returned 104.7% with a sharpe ratio of 3.1.

MPC Samsara has a directional long short strategy with the ability to be net short of the market. Therefore it is able to vary its exposure to the market and thus profit even in poor stock market environments. Ajay will manage the hedge fund with precisely the same approach as he has used at JP Morgan which was bottom-up stock-picking fund with a top down overlay, using rigorous fundamental analysis and an active approach to stock selection.

Ajay was previously Managing Director and Head of the European High Alpha Team at JPMorgan Asset Management, running over $8bn of assets. Ajay himself personally managed $6bn of assets all of which was in either absolute return or unconstrained vehicles.

MPC Investors is an independent asset manager of both alternative and traditional assets for predominantly institutional clients across the world.

Middle East Hedge Fund Summit to Take Place In Bahrain

The third annual Middle East summit taking place on 5-7 th November at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Manama, is the first hedge fund specific event to take place in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Developed in close conjunction with event partners, Bahrain Financial Services Development (BFSD), part of the Economic Development Board, and global alternative asset manager Investcorp, the summit will attract major investors from across the GCC region, with leading fund managers from MENA, Europe, Asia and the US discussing innovative alternative investment strategies.

The hedge fund summit will focus on areas including the recent legislative developments in the region, an overview of its current hedge funds market, panel discussions on emerging markets, advice on how to successfully set up and market a hedge fund and case studies on the most effective investment strategies.

The summit, according to the announcement will also explore various strategies to overcome Shariah compliance in the rapidly growing Middle East market. "The hedge funds market in the Gulf region is set for a period of unprecedented growth," said Jane Dellar, managing director of the Bahrain Financial Services Development (BFSD).

"The recent revision of the collective investment undertakings by the CBB introduces an exempt fund category, enabling hedge funds and other alternative investments. This is yet another prime example of Bahrain's dominance in leading the region's funds development," she said.

Rasheed Mohammed Al-Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, will attend the inaugural session of the event.

Gary Long, Investcorp's Chief Operating Officer, said: "It is very appropriate for Investcorp to sponsor this event. Not only is it taking place in Bahrain , where Investcorp has such strong ties, but we have a ten-year track record of investing in hedge funds and with $6.4 billion in assets under management, Investcorp is one of the leading global players in this asset class."

17 Sep 2007

Carbon Hedge Fund Growth, Explained

Daniel Butler, the Trade Director for Czech carbon asset fund manager Blackstone Global Ventures sent us at HedgeCo this much needed Carbon Market simplification;

It could be said that when the average man on the street hears about a new Environmental Fund or Climate Change Funds its easy to imaging the observer visualizing a member of Greenpeace flogging and IPO prospectus on Wall Street. Perhaps destined to be a most undersubscribed offering.

In reality many of these carbon fund raisings are employing tried-and-true investment principals such as: origination of new stock, arbitration of differing instruments, the capture of significant discounts, all to ultimately return a capital gain to the investor. But how could this possible considering Climate Change-Global Warming is a greenie issue? Hardly the type of thing that would interest the professional financial markets community, an observer might opine.

In reality it is not too far fetched to imagine the near future where even investors lacking a renewable energy brief (or an environmental conscience) might consider the world of carbon trading simply a new commodities type market where variables such as the supply of the existing underlying, new origination efforts, and even a tight relation to the energy markets, will be enough to consider before investing.

But wait; did someone just explain the carbon market without spending multiple paragraphs on the issues causing Global Warming, the long process of negotiations between green house gas emitting countries and the acceptance of many said governments to curtail their harmful emissions to the detriment of their gross national product? Isn't that a bit too brief?

Well, that is why it is, for many, still in unexplored and unfathomable territory. Many would-be investors never read through those paragraphs because, while the basis for this new market is a paradigm of inter-governmental coordination and mother of all surprises - an 'agreement' between the majority of nations (the Kyoto Protocol) - the concepts employed tend to be explained in excruciatingly painful detail.

If however, the market of carbon instruments is explained from a different approach, an inside-out approach, perhaps investors would see how it works first and learn the why’s later.

The European market (yes, there are many locality based variables) market can be explained as a place where the right to emit greenhouse gases is securitized into ‘permissions’ or ‘allowances’ to emit, where less of these allowance credits are issued over time in a concept not unlike musical chairs; a simple concept for a serious issue whereby fewer emission allowance credits in circulation means less greenhouse gases actually emitted into the atmosphere. To police this, the participants “governments and companies face severe fines for ‘non-compliance’. These participants can, however, buy cheaper, newly created credits.

This next concept of newly created or ‘originated’ credits is the one that forms the basis for the lion’s share of new carbon funds and unfortunately becomes a bit wordier. This involves the principal of originating new credits based on causing the reductions of GHG emissions in places around the world were it would be much less expensive.*

After all, implementing reductions, (cleaning up, capturing), elsewhere in the world benefits the globe as a whole. And the agent implementing the reduction is then awarded a carbon credit that is usually shared with the site where the emissions were reduced (the factory, the installation, etc).

This is quite frankly not unlike a new IPO offering or the mining of a new commodity. And the effort and expertise expended to bring the new security to market is recouped by the agent because the origination might take place at prices much lower than where the agent can sell them on the world market. Now it should be clear that with the capture of sizeable discounts, there is in fact room for larger financing. And with the growing surge of climate change understanding, the resultant political willpower, the sheer power of the financial market is brought to the cause. This power should be compared to other attempts at taxation where the application is usually up to individual governments and subject to changes as governments change; not nearly as affective as the financial incentive.

It must be made clear, however, that an investor to a fund that captures discounts in the generation of greenhouse gas emissions must be cognizant of important issues such as the risks involved in the creation of new credits: the lengthy and tedious administrative processes to establishing a carbon credit-worthy project, the verification and validation of real emission reductions, as well as the more obvious macro components affecting the supply and demand and ultimately the prices of credits. And also the investor must critically judge the fund manager (agent) to navigate the by-ways of the new credit approval process.

Indeed, perhaps it is here that the investor might best value a the fund since profitability mostly relies on the abilities of the manager to source discounted projects, manage the extraction process from the identification up to perhaps 5 years later when credits are issued: the fund manager must be a master of the carbon credit origination process.

Of course there is criticism. A cynic might say that with all those financial types involved, banks that need to earn large margins to stay afloat, it seems that the real greenhouse gas reductions may take a lesser import. On the other hand, many other previous attempts to apply environmental remedies have fallen short of their goals because the free market was not involved.

The carbon market now however, seems to have surpassed this criticism and is now firmly established as its own financial market. The carbon market and pricing is related closely to energy movements, subject to international acceptance (USA and Australia have not signed the Kyoto Protocol), and even another important factor when it comes to industrial prices. It is nevertheless a growing market confirmed by the appetite for growing fund investment.

*These less expensive locations (countries where emissions reductions are cheaper to implement, might have accepted emissions limits such as the Ukraine or Romania, or possess no limits at all such as in India or China; they benefit in the long run since the creation of new credits benefit the installation ‘host’ and host government implicitly, since they share in the sale of new credits.

Daniel Butler is the Trade Director for carbon asset fund manager Blackstone Global Ventures, a.s. in Prague, Czech Reublic.

For more information, contact;

Alex Akesson
Editor for HedgeCo.Net
Email: alex@hedgeco.net

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14 Sep 2007

New IFSB Hedge Fund Regulators

Islamic hedge fund regulators have agreed to admit 12 new members to the the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) bringing the total members to 137.

Two new regulatory and supervisory authorities have joined the IFSB membership, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, of United Arab Emirates, which was admitted as an Associate Member, and the Bank of Japan who joined as an Observer Member.

The Council has also admitted ten other new Observer Members. The IFSB members now total 137 comprising of 35 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 5 international inter-governmental organizations and 97 market players and professional firms operating in 22 jurisdictions.

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), which is based in Kuala Lumpur, was officially inaugurated on 3rd November 2002 and started operations on 10th March 2003. It serves as an international-standard setting body of regulatory and supervisory agencies who have interest in ensuring the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry.

In advancing this mission, the IFSB promotes the development of a prudent and transparent Islamic financial services industry through introducing new, or adapting existing international standards consistent with Islamic Shari'ah principles.

The 137 members of the IFSB include 35 regulatory and supervisory authorities as well as International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and 97 market players and professional firms from 22 countries.

13 Sep 2007

Legal Search Firm Hires Hedge Fund Specialist

Lucas Group announced today in a press release that Todd Caissie has joined as the new Managing Partner of the New York Legal Executive Search office.

Caissie brings nine years of recruiting experience to his new role at Lucas Group with a rich background in Legal recruiting that spans the globe. His last position was Managing Director at Major Lindsey & Africa, the world’s largest legal search firm where he worked with top fortune 500 companies including Colgate-Palmolive and Merrill Lynch as well as the National Hockey League, prestigious hedge funds and private equity firms and other high profile clients in a variety of industry sectors.

Prior to Major Lindsey & Africa, Todd spent five years in Japan and headed up the Tokyo office for TMP Worldwide. Job turnover and lateral recruiting were still recent phenomenons and new frontiers in Japan but with the changing job market he was involved in growing the office from 6 people to 65 in a little over three years.

“I am very excited to join Lucas Group in New York. I inherit an extremely talented team of recruiters and I look forward to increasing our presence in the tri-state area,” says Todd Caissie.

Lucas Group is one of the United States’ largest executive recruitment focused on recruiting top executives in management, advertising/marketing, sales, accounting, manufacturing, legal, military personnel transitioning and technical positions across all major industries.

HFN Aggregate Average Down for August

Early estimates from the HFN Hedge Fund Aggregate Average is -1.26% for August of this year. The decrease was the largest since May 2006 and was the first month since May 2007 that the average hedge fund underperformed equity markets.

Year to date through August the average hedge fund is +6.28% while the S&P 500 TR is +5.20%. The HFN database consists of over 7,600 current hedge fund, fund of funds, and CTA products. HFN is an equal weighted average of all single manager hedge funds and CTA/managed futures products in the HedgeFund.net database.

Unlike previous months when equity markets fell and hedge funds outperformed, the environment in August proved more treacherous for managers.

Although major US equity markets ended August positive and European markets rallied to month end, the big drops and volatility during the month combined with widening credit spreads resulted in the majority of hedge fund strategies being negative in August. The HFN Fixed Income Arbitrage Average, perhaps the most representative benchmark of the difficulties caused by the global credit squeeze, experienced its worst month since October 1998, -2.39% and is +0.71% YTD.

August was not painful for every hedge fund strategy. Managers running option strategies benefited from the increase in volatility, returning an average of +1.44% in August and the HFN Options Strategies Average is +6.32% YTD. Short biased managers produced positive returns for the third straight month, +1.04% in August, a feat matched only three times in the last four years and the HFN Short Bias Average is +1.21% YTD.

12 Sep 2007

Proskauer Rose Hires Hedge Fund Lawyer

According to a statement released today, hedge fund and private equity lawyer Timothy M. Clark has joined the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP as a partner, continuing the expansion of the firm’s significant private investment hedge fund practice.

Mr. Clark has extensive experience representing a range of investment firms, in particular hedge funds, in connection with fund formation, complex transactions and regulatory issues.

“Proskauer has developed one of the largest, broadest and most sophisticated private investment fund practices, with more than 125 lawyers working on private equity and hedge fund formation,” said Ronald R. Papa, partner and chair of Proskauer’s Corporate Department. “Timothy offers outstanding experience working with hedge funds, private equity firms and venture capitalists and makes an excellent addition to our Hedge Fund and Private Investment Funds practices.”

“Particularly today, with the financial markets in flux, investment firms are looking for counsel from seasoned advisors who have experienced various economic cycles and can provide the insight to help firms chart a successful course forward,” added Christopher Wells, head of Proskauer’s Hedge Fund Practice. “Timothy’s expertise is an ideal complement to our deep bench of talent and we are delighted to have him join our team.”

Proskauer Rose was founded in 1875 and is one of the US’ largest law firms, providing a variety of legal services to clients throughout the United States and around the world from offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, Boca Raton, Newark, New Orleans, Paris, and São Paulo.

The firm has experience in areas of practice important to businesses and individuals including among others, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, general commercial litigation, private equity and hedge fund formation.

11 Sep 2007

Merkel and Sarkozy Discuss EU Hedge Funds

At an informal meeting yesterday in Meseberg, Germany, French President Sarkozy took a tough line on "financial speculators", such as hedge funds, who should not be allowed "to destroy an entire international system".

He added: "We are in favour of transparency and regulation, and for a capitalism that favours entrepreneurs, not speculators."

Merkel and Sarkozy also discussed issues of common European concern, such as energy, and proposed the creation of a "council of wise men" to debate how the EU should evolve over the next 30 years.

However, the two remained vague on the composition of such a council, but underlined that its members should not be individuals who are actively involved in the Commission, Council or Parliament.Both Merkel and Sarkozy are opposed to Turkish EU membership, supporting a close association instead.

Chancellor Merkel criticised in particular the failure of rating agencies. She asked: "How can we tell people at home that nobody knew anything about this and yet they all have to live with the consequences?"

The two European leaders said that they would push for an EU initiative to improve the transparency of financial markets following the recent turmoil spurred by the US sub-prime market collapse.

10 Sep 2007

Hedge Fund Compensation Report Shows Increase In Pay For 2008

The 2008 Hedge Fund Compensation Report was released today by Glocap Search LLC, Institutional Investor News, and Lipper HedgeWorld. The report is an analysis of 2007 compensation paid by U.S. hedge funds including estimates for cash bonuses expected to be paid in early 2008. The data shows that compensation for all titles and job functions covered by the report will continue to increase.

Among other things, the 2008 Report shows that the average compensation for investment professionals with 1-4 years of experience at funds with $1-3 billion in assets under management is estimated to come in at just over $330,000. While the average compensation for investment professionals with 10 or more years of experience at hedge funds with $10 billion or more in assets under management (a new category this year and the largest in the report) is estimated to hit $2.35 million this year.

The report also estimates that fundraisers will earn average pay packages of about $730,000 this year and total cash compensation for Senior Analysts at fund of funds is expected to hit $325,000.

Adam Zoia, Managing Partner at Glocap, noted that, as hedge funds continue to attract capital at rapid rates and the markets have become more competitive, there has been a heightened need for more qualified professionals to help invest the money, and that demand has pushed compensation higher at any given level of fund performance.

The report analyzes base salaries and bonuses of thousands of hedge fund professionals at hundreds of U.S. hedge fund firms for the years 2004-2007, including Investment Professionals, Traders, CFOs, COOs, Fund Marketers, Administrative & Executive Assistants, Information Technology, Risk Management, Operations and Legal & Compliance professionals. The data in the Report comes from a combination of first-hand feedback from Glocap candidates on past and expected compensation, actual placement data maintained by Glocap in the course of its search business and from survey results by its recruiters.

Zoia added that the 2008 report was improved to reflect the changing landscape of the hedge fund industry. Specifically, fund sizes were altered to include even larger funds and compensation data was added on fund of funds. "As we are every year, Glocap is once again happy to be a part of what has become an established compensation planning tool for hedge funds of all sizes," Zoia said.

Goodman Fund of Funds Reaches Target of 250 Million Euros

Goodman Property Investors announced that its eurozone fund of hedge funds is on course to reach its equity targets after hitting €250 million ($344.8 million) since launching a year ago.

The Goodman Group international property investment management business is set to achieve its €300 million ($413.7 million) equity target within a 12 to 24 month timeframe from its July 2006 inception.

The fund has returned 9.6% so far this year, with 24 investors of predominantly UK and Continental European pension funds. The majority of the investments are in specialist sector and/or geographically focused funds.

The fund is managed by Karin van der Sluijs who is based in Goodman’s Amsterdam office. The fund’s portfolio provides a balanced exposure to the traditional office, retail and industrial sectors combined with investments in some specialist sectors such as residential and car parking, the majority of the Karin van der Sluijs managed fund’s investments are in specialist sector and geographically focused funds.

Andrew Smith, head of indirect investment at Goodman Property Investors, said: "The success of the Eurozone Fund of Funds demonstrates the increased appetite from European pension funds for investing in property outside their domestic market. It also shows many of these are finding that the fund of funds route is the best way to achieve better diversification as it allows them to access a number of specialist managers who can leverage specific opportunities in a range of countries and sectors.”

“It also shows many of these are finding that the fund of funds route is the best way to achieve better diversification as it allows them to access a number of specialist managers who can leverage specific opportunities in a range of countries and sectors,” Andrew says.

“One of the key selling points of the fund has been the strong investment pipeline we have secured. “This highlights the benefit of having people on the ground with the local knowledge and experience to seek out these specialist managers.”

6 Sep 2007

RMF Launches Global Environmental Fund of Hedge Fund

Swiss-based RMF Investment Management has has announced the launch of a global fund of hedge funds that will invest purely in environmental industries and strategies.

The RMF Environmental Opportunities Fund, which the company said is the first of its kind in the world, will invest in environmentally-friendly technology, renewable energy, initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and conserve water and sustainable infrastructure.

The fund, in which RMF has invested $25.1 million, is aimed at institutional investors and designed to generate returns of between 8 and 10 per cent with medium-level volatility. As a hedge of hedge funds, it includes investments in multiple hedge fund managers, thereby increasing diversification.

RMF head of new alternative investments Michelle McClosky said that environmental investments are evolving rapidly.

“Environmental hedge funds offer great potential, but the challenge for us initially was to find enough liquid strategies with institutional-quality managers. When we started looking at the market just over a year ago, only a handful of these hedge funds existed. But over the past year, liquidity in both the equities and futures markets has increased dramatically and we have seen a corresponding increase in the number of fund offerings in the sector. With over 35 hedge funds to choose from, we are now confident the market is scalable and that managers are here to stay.”

RMF, which is headquartered in Pfäffikon in Switzerland and has offices in London, New York, Singapore and the Bahamas, began as a hedge fund manager in 1992 and now manages more than $25.4 billion in assets, mainly for institutional investors.

RMF is part of Man Investments, which has $67 billion in assets under management, centers in London and Pfäffikon and offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, Dubai, Montevideo, Nassau, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.

5 Sep 2007

Hong Kong SFC Says Hedge Funds Not For Everyone

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) reminded investors in a press release today that although hedge funds are often marketed as “all weather” funds for different market conditions, their strategies do not always work for all market conditions.

The SFC also published an updated leaflet on hedge funds as part of its investor education leaflet series. The publication explains the basic concepts and risks of hedge funds. It stresses that hedge funds are only suitable for those who can understand and bear the risks involved.

When considering a hedge fund, according to the leaflet, investors should read the offering documents to have a clear view of the investment strategies and risks, ask questions, and avoid signing anything that they don’t understand.

In addition, investors are reminded that although unauthorized hedge funds cannot be offered to the public, they may be offered to private clients. When offered an unauthorized hedge fund, investors should note that the fund’s structure and operations are not subject to SFC regulatory requirements.

The English and Chinese versions of the leaflet are now available at the SFC office, and can be viewed in the “publications” section of the SFC-operated investor portal.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is an independent non-governmental statutory body outside the civil service, responsible for administering the laws governing the securities and futures markets in Hong Kong and facilitating and encouraging the development of these markets.

3 Sep 2007

South Africa's New Hedge Fund Regulations

Just as South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) is coming out with new regulations governing the area’s hedge fund industry, Terrapinn is presenting Hedge Funds World Africa 2007.

Last year there was a record turnout of 444 delegates and speakers at the Mount Nelson Hotel. This year local and international fund managers, asset managers, hedge fund managers, investment specialists and institutional investors will meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre to celebrate the 7th annual hedge fund industry event.

The Alternative Investment Management Association’s South African chapter chairman, Ian Hamilton, welcomed the new regulations, saying the association had been working with the FSB and other industry organizations for more than two years “and our efforts have come to fruition”. The new regulations require anyone managing a hedge fund to apply to the FSB for a category IIA financial services provider license by the end of February. Attention will be paid to the applicant’s operational ability and risk management processes, as well as the types of investors who invest in the funds.

The FSB sent letters to investment managers approved by the FSB warning them that although allowed to buy and sell securities on behalf of their clients, it does not provide them with any form of approval to either manage hedge funds or to sell hedge funds to individuals or pension fund investors.

The final point of the letter stated that hedge fund managers may in no way make any representation to clients that they are approved to manage hedge funds or intimate that hedge funds are a regulated product in South Africa.

In terms of the current regulatory regime, hedge funds fall outside the scope of existing regulation and there is nothing preventing investment managers from conducting the business of a hedge fund provided that they do not represent to have been approved by the FSB to manage and/or solicit for investment into hedge funds.

It is therefore suggested that any hedge fund material should state such restrictions clearly on the face of such documentation and all participants in the hedge fund industry must ensure that they act responsibly in their conduct.