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19 Jan 2007

Hedge Fund RCB Indexes Up

RBC Capital Markets reported that for the month of December 2006 the RBC Hedge 250 Index had a net return of 1.41%. Bringing the year-to-date return of the Index to 10.64%. These returns are estimated and will be finalized by the middle of next month. The return for November 2006 has been finalized at 1.60%.

The RBC Hedge 250 Index is an investable benchmark of the performance of the hedge fund industry. The Index operates in accordance with a unique construction methodology. Comprised of more than 250 actual hedge funds, the RBC Hedge 250 Index is positioned as the industry's most diversified and representative investable index. The Universe on which the Index is based currently consists of 5,635 hedge funds (excludes funds of hedge funds) with aggregate assets under management of $1.159 trillion.

Since its inception on July 1, 2005 through the end of November 2006, the RBC Hedge 250 Index has had an annualized net return of 10.76%. In comparison, over the same period, other investable indices have averaged 7.43% while non-investable indices have averaged 12.63%, according to information reported by the sponsors of RCB.

Executive To Leave Position 2 Years After Hedge Fund Buyout

Cerberus Capital Management LP, the New York-based $16 billion hedge fund, announced that executive chairwoman Vanessa Castagna will leave her position Feb. 1, Rick Leto, president and chief merchandising officer for Mervyns, will take over day-to-day management of the 172-store chain. The hedge fund bought Mervyns from the Target Corp. in 2004.

"Vanessa's leadership was instrumental to Mervyns' successful transition as an independent company," Leto said in a statement. "We thank her for her commitment to the company and many contributions and wish her well in her future endeavors." The Mervyns announcement did not offer details about Castagna's plans. She came to Mervyns after leading a similar turnaround at a much larger retailer, JCPenney.

Castagna is credited with reviving Mervyns at a time when many retail analysts predicted its demise. Target, the highly successful discount retailer, was blamed for neglecting Mervyns and Marshall Field's, the upscale Chicago-based department store that was bought by the Federated Department Stores Inc and converted into Macy's.

Cerberus is a privately owned hedge fund, run by 45-year-old financier Steven Feinberg. Former Vice President Dan Quayle has been a prominent Cerberus spokesperson and runs one of its international units.

Founded in 1992, Cerberus invests primarily in companies which are near bankruptcy and hopes to make the businesses it acquires profitable. The company has bought out many businesses over the past several years and now includes sizable investments in sportswear, paper products, military services, real estate, energy, retail, glass making, transportation, and building products.

Hedge Fund Doubles Turnover by $229 Million

RAB Capital, the $5 billion hedge fund, doubled its turnover for the year to at least $229 million, while pre-tax profit soared 95% and assets under management went up to $5.18bn.

Assets under management as at 31 December 2006 jumped 98% from $2.62bn a year earlier “After an excellent opening four months, trading in 2006 became more challenging during the summer period, but conditions improved significantly in the fourth quarter,” the hedge fund said.

Net asset inflows were strong in the first half and there was a revival in the final quarter which included a long term allocation of $200m by Mittal family trusts to RAB Special Situations.

“The near-doubling of assets under management over the course of 2006, further successful investment performance and an even stronger balance sheet, give us an excellent base from which to advance in the year ahead,” said chief executive Philip Richards.

“2007 offers RAB Capital new opportunities, and management will focus both on organic growth and on those opportunities that add to our strong existing line-up,” added executive chairman Michael Alen-Buckley.