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15 Mar 2007

Lehman Brothers buys 20% of Hedge Fund

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. announced on Tuesday that it had bought a 20% stake in hedge fund D.E. Shaw Group, which was formed in 1988 and has about $29 billion in aggregate investment capital. The hedge fund has more than 1,000 employees across the United States and internationally.

D.E. Shaw uses computer programs to find discrepancies in prices among securities. It also invests in distressed debt and makes bets on broad economic trends using stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.

Lehman Brothers, traditionally seen as a bond house, has invested heavily in alternative investments in recent years, they have minority ownership in four other hedge funds, Spinnaker Capital Group, GLG Partners LP, Ospraie Management LP and Marble Bar Asset Management.

Lehman manages $225 billion, including $9 billion in alternative-investment assets such as hedge funds. That doesn't include money at the firms in which it has minority stakes. Last year, the firm generated $1.4 billion in revenue from asset management, or 8% of total revenue.

The price of the stake wasn't disclosed, though the New York-based firms said in a statement today it would be tied to hedge fund D.E. Shaw's performance.

Hedge Fund Index up for Febuary

According to hedge fund index provider Greenwich Alternative Investments LLC., their Global Hedge Fund Index returned +0.61% in February.

The Greenwich Investable Hedge Fund Index closely tracked the Global Index, returning +0.45% in February and +1.79% year to date, within two basis points of the Global Index return of +1.81% for the year.

“Hedge funds’ downside protection, coupled with their ability to capture market upside, continues to translate into superior risk-adjusted returns." says Ben Rossman, general manager of Greenwich, "Long-biased managers were able to mitigate the effects of February’s declining equities to end the month in positive territory," he said in a press release.

By comparison, both Greenwich Hedge Fund Indices are ahead of the major equity and bond indices for 2007: S&P 500, MSCI World Equity Index, and the FTSE 100 posted returns of -1.96% (-0.48% YTD), -0.65% (+0.46% YTD), and -0.51% (-0.79% YTD), while the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index posted +1.54% (+1.50% YTD). Performance was positive across 12 of the 13 hedge fund strategies followed by the Global Index, with 96% of reporting funds outperforming the S&P 500.

During the last five years the Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index has produced annualized returns of +9.54% with a maximum drawdown of -4.55%, outperforming the S&P 500, MSCI World Equity Index, and FTSE 100 which have had respective annualized returns of +6.81%, +9.13%, and +3.88%, with more severe drawdowns of -20.15%, -17.24%, and -29.40%.”

Greenwich Alternative Investments, LLC (and its affiliates) manages one of the world's largest hedge fund databases and is among the oldest providers of hedge fund indices, asset management services and research to institutional investors worldwide.