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20 Nov 2007

Alpha Titans Fund of Fund Launch

Alpha Titans, a multi-manager hedge fund announced that it will be open to outside investors from December 1st, the fund of funds was launched on November 1st 2007.

Alpha Titans was launched with equal allocations to DE Shaw, Renaissance, Citadel, IKOS and Whitebox. Most of these managers are either closed to new investors, or cannot be acquired by new investors without very high minimums and lockups. Alpha Titans has favorable liquidity terms with many of these managers due to long-standing investments with them.

Alpha Titans is offered to qualified investors through onshore and offshore funds. With a minimum initial investments of $100,000, the fund of funds has quarterly liquidity and no redemption penalties. Investors have the opportunity to choose from three different share classes of leverage, 1x, 1.5x and 2x.

Alpha Titan is an alpha-return investment manager that has achieved superior risk-adjusted returns through skill-based investing.

19 Nov 2007

Global Investment Fund Now Open

West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.Net)- Global Investment House has announced the Global Distressed Fund is now open for new and existing investors until the end of December.

The Barclays group, the world's largest independent hedge fund research company, ranked the Fund earlier this year as the 4th best Fund of Hedge Funds in the world, in terms of risk adjusted return, from a list of 647 funds.

The fund was also ranked by EurekaHedge among the top ten distressed fund of funds in terms of its annualized return, standard deviation, and Sharpe ratio.

Mr. Sameer Al-Gharaballi, Executive Vice President at Global, said the fund's reopening presents an opportunity to invest in one of the best and highly ranked fund of hedge funds.

Al- Gharaballi confirmed that the fund presents an opportunity for investors seeking diversification from local markets with low risk, adding that Global may provide interested investors with loans on invested capital, as a show of confidence in the fund's stable performance.

16 Nov 2007

$2.3 Million Raised By 100 Women in Hedge Funds

The hedge fund industry raised $ 2.3 million at the Sixth 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala at Cipriani in New York City.

Many well-known leaders in the hedge fund industry attended the gala celebration, among them Tudor Investment Management, Williams Trading, Blue Ridge Capital, Highbridge Capital Management, Eton Park Capital Management, Moore Capital and Atticus Capital.

John Griffin, Founder and President of Blue Ridge Capital, who founded iMentor in 1999 remarked, "We are absolutely delighted to be this year's 100 Women in Hedge Funds beneficiary." To-date, iMentor has matched and supported over 4,000 mentor-mentee pairs, partnering with over 30 schools and after-school programs in underserved communities.

100 Women in Hedge Funds annually presents two awards that have historically recognized under-the-radar achievements and leadership. The 2007 Effecting Change award honored many leaders across the hedge fund industry who serve as powerful examples of effective mentoring.

The 2007 Industry Leadership Award was awarded to Jane Mendillo, Chief Investment Officer, Wellesley College in recognition of her talent, ethics and passion, which help define the hedge fund industry's standard of excellence.

Since its first session in 2002, 100 Women in Hedge Funds has hosted more than 150 events globally, connected more than 150 senior women through their Peer Advisory Councils and raised in excess of $13 million for philanthropic causes in the areas of women's health, education and mentoring.

15 Nov 2007

Germany as Europe's Most Attractive Destination For Renewable Energy Investors

Germany has emerged as Europe's most attractive destination for commercial investors in the renewable energy sector, while the UK has lost momentum due to a comparative lack of pace on policy matters, according to the latest "Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices", which tracks and scores global investment in renewable energy.

The index, launched at the World Energy Congress in Rome, reveals that Germany has jumped from fifth to second place, displacing the UK, India and Spain, which jointly held this position last quarter.

It also suggests that although the credit crunch has left many investors overexposed to certain sectors, renewables projects still offer a relatively low-risk option for investors.

Although EU countries dominate the Country Attractiveness Indices, the US remains the most attractive destination overall for investment in renewables, a position it has held for two years.

Jonathan Johns, Head of Renewable Energy at Ernst & Young, says the US will continue to attract the lion's share of global investment particularly if changes to legislation continue.

The Ernst & Young Country Attractiveness Indices provide scores for national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies. The indices provide scores out of 100 and are updated on a regular basis.

BlackRock Launches Distressed Securities Funds

BlackRock, the biggest listed US asset manager, on Tuesday announced the launch of more distressed securities funds to take advantage of the current credit market troubles, according to Reuters.

Chairman and Chief Executive Laurence Fink said the firm would launch hedge funds investing in distressed mortgages and distressed real estate. These funds would raise "multibillion dollars". BlackRock has already raised a "very large" leveraged-loan fund and is now in the process of investing the money.

Just last week, BlackRock again earned first place in DALBAR’s 2007 Trends & Best Practices in the "Leading Mutual Fund Statements" category. DALBAR issues this award annually.

"At BlackRock, our goal is to produce a comprehensive investor statement tailored to
shareholder needs" said Anne Ackerley, managing director at BlackRock. "Receiving this award for three consecutive years demonstrates our successes and is a clear indication of our ability to deliver beyond expectations and surpass the industry standard."

BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. With a reported AUM of $1.3 trillion as of September 30, 2007.

13 Nov 2007

Hedge Funds More Proactive in Search for New Research

Hedge funds manage external research more proactively than long only managers, according to a study released by Integrity Research Associates. Hedge funds review their external research more frequently than long only investment managers, are three times more likely to seek assistance finding external research, and are much less confident that they have already found the best sources of external research.
“Our study confirms that hedge funds are more aggressively seeking out new sources of research than long only managers,” says Michael Mayhew, Integrity’s chairman and author of the study. “Long only managers are complacent about external research whereas hedge funds are continuously looking for what’s new and innovative.”

Conducted in October, 2007, the survey polled forty-three research directors at US based hedge funds and long only institutional investors. The survey focused on how institutional investors source and value external research. Highlights from the study include:

• Forty-two percent (42%) of hedge funds evaluate their portfolio of research providers at least monthly compared to five percent (5%) of long only managers.
• Hedge funds are three times more likely to use external sources to identify research, with forty-five percent (45%) of hedge fund research directors using outside sources compared to thirteen percent (13%) for long only directors of research.
• Thirty percent (30%) of hedge funds were either Not Too Confident or Somewhat Confident that they are using the best external research available compared to eighteen percent (18%) of long only managers.

“As long only managers introduce more alternative product like 130/30 funds, they are talking the talk, but our survey suggests that they are not yet walking the walk,” adds Mayhew.

Hedge Funds See Best Performance In 5 Years

According to the HFN Hedge Fund Aggregate Average, the second round of U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate reductions pushed hedge fund returns up +3.32% in October 2007.

Strategies which rebounded sharply following the U.S. Fed's actions in September were again beneficiaries in October. The HFN Emerging Markets Average was +5.01% in October and +22.22% YTD. Energy sector funds took advantage of oil prices closing in on $100/barrel.

The hedge fund’s excellent performance wasn't limited to commodity related strategies, several equity related strategies outperformed broad equity benchmarks. Long only strategies outperformed the S&P 500 by the largest margin in the last twenty months. Additionally, technology sector funds returned +5.07% in October while the healthcare sector and small/micro cap funds returned +5.07% and 3.43%, respectively.

Hedge funds influenced by market volatility through options strategies produced their best average performance in five years, and macro funds continue to benefit from strong trends in currency and commodity markets. (HFN), a division of Channel Capital Group Inc, is a source for hedge fund news and information. Registered users include a wide range of institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

7 Nov 2007

Hedge Funds in the Middle East Conference

The third Annual Conference for Hedge Funds in the Middle East, organized by Hedge Funds Review magazine, got underway on November 5 under the sponsorship of Investcorp, the alternative investment specialist.

The opening session was attended by His Excellency Mr Rasheed Muhammed Al-Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. Attending the conference are leading investors from various Gulf nations, in addition to hedge fund managers from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States, who have been discussing the latest strategies for alternative investments.

Investcorp Managing Director Sewanyana Kironde welcomed the participants. He was followed by the co-heads of hedge funds at Investcorp, Ibrahim Gharghour and Deepak Gurnani, who presented a review of global strategies for hedge fund activity. Their presentation stressed the importance of studying risks and managing them wisely in order to attain balanced investments.

Investcorp has more than 10 years' experience in hedge funds. At present it manages $6.4bn in hedge fund assets, making it one of the biggest international investors in this area. Hedge funds are now being used in the portfolios of institutional investors and high net worth individuals as an alternative means of maximising returns and increasing wealth.

In collaboration with the conference organizers, Investcorp has designed this summit to facilitate discussion about the various hedge fund strategies, about the means of addressing geographic distribution and about Islamic Sharia compliance in the Middle East market, which is growing at a rapid pace.

The conference, which continues until Wednesday night, also featured a "Day at the Races" at the Bahrain International Circuit, and a banquet dinner.

$61 Million Shariah Fund Launch By KAMKO

KIPCO Asset Management Company ("KAMCO") today announced the launch of the Al Raya Investment Company KSC, with the private placement of 170 million shares. The fund will primarily target international investors in developed markets interested in Shariah compliant international asset management.

"Al Raya Investment Company aims to be the first and most comprehensive Islamic investment company in Kuwait and the GCC region with a clear focus on international Islamic asset management products and services," said Mr. Hazem Al-Braikan, Chairman of the Founders' Committee.

Al Raya is a private company that will be incorporated under Kuwaiti company law as a Kuwaiti closed shareholding company, and will be registered with the Central Bank of Kuwait as an Islamic Investment Company.

Primarily, the company will target international equities, asset management, alternative investment products, advisory services and portfolio management segments of the market.

Islamic finance represents a fast growing market segment. At the end of 2006, over 250 Islamic financial institutions operated in more than 75 countries, holding assets estimated at more than $265 billion with another $400 billion in financial investments.

It is estimated that within the next 10 years, 50 to 60% of the total savings of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims will be in the form of Shariah compliant products, and that the potential market for Islamic financial services to be in the area of $4 trillion.

"KAMCO is delighted to announce this new investment opportunity to its clients and investors in Kuwait and internationally," said Mrs. Intisar Al-Suwaidi, KAMCO Vice Chairman. "We strongly believe that this private placement offering will be of significant interest to selected and sophisticated investors."

6 Nov 2007

BNP Paribas Adds Three Members to Their Hedge Fund Relationship Management Team

BNP Paribas announced today the expansion of its Hedge Fund Relationship team with the appointments of Conrad Johnson as a director in New York and Stephanie Wong as an associate director in Hong Kong.

Conrad joins BNP Paribas from J.P. Morgan Securities in New York where he worked in Fixed Income prime brokerage. In his new role, Conrad will assist his team in optimizing the firm's relationships across its various business lines with the world's leading Hedge Funds.

Prior to joining BNP Paribas, Stephanie was with HSBC managing Hedge Fund relationships in Asia. Her career started with JP Morgan in the Structured Finance CDO/CLO group in 2000 and later moved to Hedge Fund Credit function with JPM in Singapore.

Also announced was the relocation of Mark Walker to London from New York to further the global effort as Head of Hedge Fund Relationship Management for Europe. With over fifteen years' experience, Mark will help drive the bank's efforts in the dynamically growing European hedge fund market. Mark will also spearhead the Hedge Fund Capital Markets Solutions Group by drawing upon the vast capabilities of the firm to deliver capital introduction, and more recently DCM and ECM syndication and structuring solutions. Conrad, Stephanie and Mark all functionally report to Talbot Stark, Global Hedge Fund Relationship Manager.

Commenting on Conrad's appointment, Talbot Stark said, "Hedge Funds are a core client sector for BNP Paribas. Mark, Conrad and Stephanie will draw on our extensive footprint across Europe, the US and Asia and our superior capability in derivatives across asset classes, to set ourselves apart from our competitors by adding value for our Hedge Fund clients through the delivery of dynamic solutions."

The BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Relationship Management Team was formed in 2006 to co-ordinate client coverage across Fixed Income, Equity Derivatives and Commodities ensuring that BNP Paribas effectively covers its hedge fund clients and is constantly developing its business in close alignment with their needs.

BNP Paribas is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 5 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.

2 Nov 2007

Sidley Austin Named Top Hedge Fund Firm

Institutional Investor’s Alpha Magazine has ranked Sidley Austin LLP the number one legal adviser to the hedge fund industry among onshore law firms for the second consecutive year.

Thomas A. Cole, chair of the firm’s Executive Committee said, “We are particularly gratified by the results of this year’s Alpha Awards because we have once again been chosen by our clients,” he explained. “We have been privileged to work with some of the most respected hedge funds and alternative asset managers and we are very proud of the performance of our team, which this ranking acknowledges.”

The Alpha Awards are calculated from the responses of nearly 1,000 hedge fund firms, representing roughly $1.4 trillion in assets under management. Additionally, this year Alpha introduced a new ranking showing which providers best serve hedge fund firms with assets $1 billion or more; Sidley was ranked first in this new category. Additionally, Sidley placed first in almost every sub-category, including “business planning,” “client service,” “hedge fund expertise” and “regulatory and compliance.”

Sidley’s hedge fund and investment management practice comprises approximately 95 lawyers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong and London. Sidley was also named Investment Funds Law Firm of the Year in the 2007 Asian Legal Business Awards.

1 Nov 2007

Prudential Launches 4 Sub-Funds In Hong Kong

Prudential Asset Management today announced its entrance into Hong Kong's retail funds market with the launch of its first four retail sub-funds, the M&G Global Basics Fund, M&G Global Leaders Fund, M&G Pan European Fund, and the M&G American Fund.

The launch signals the latest stage of development for Prudential's asset management business in Asia, which has operated in the Hong Kong market since 1994. The Hong Kong launch follows the sub-funds' previous introduction to retail investors in Singapore, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia where they attracted significant interest with inflows exceeding $760 million over eight months to 31 August 2007.

"We are launching our retail presence in Hong Kong by introducing some of our core funds to the market." Guy Strapp, Regional Head of Investment Management said about the launch, "These funds have a history of consistent performance and will provide Hong Kong investors with access to global equity markets to help diversify investment portfolios."

Prudential Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited is a subsidiary of Prudential plc (United Kingdom). Its insurance operations span 12 markets, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

With $66 billion in assets under management, it is the only foreign asset manager in the top 5 position in more than one Asian market.

High Turnover Among Hedge Fund Employees

A survey conducted by Job Search Digest revealed insights into the world of hedge fund compensation. Most respondents, the survey shows, have less than two years with their firms, suggesting high employee turnover in the industry.

The high turnover extends to workers on both sides of the Atlantic. Though 50% of survey respondents had more than 10 years of professional experience, more than 60% of respondents reported being with their current firm for two years or less. This short tenure is reflected in a fraction of the professional sharing in the equity pie.

"The survey raises an interesting question," says David Kochanek, president of Job Search Digest, "Are the players unhappy because intelligent, well-educated hard charging 'Type A' people are never satisfied? Or, does the hedge fund industry have a problem."

With the very top hedge fund managers earning hundreds of millions of dollars, even those making a million a year wonder what they could be making if they jump to another firm." Kochanek added.

Production-based bonuses are an integral part of employees' compensation, the survey found, and range from 38% of base salary to more than 400% for top producers. The survey found the further you move up in the organization, the bigger that bonus percentage becomes.

When it comes to educational requirements, a bachelor's degree is the minimum for jobs in the field, but an advanced degree or master's in business administration isn't a requirement for many positions, the survey found. "Although MBA¹s are earning more on average, hedge fund players can be successful in the firm without an MBA or other advanced degree," said Kochanek.

The 2007 Hedge Fund Search Digest Compensation Survey captures information from industry players at all levels. The respondents are from more than 200 hedge funds firms, including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.