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23 Apr 2007

Hedge Fund ''Landmine'' Conference

Thompson Hine LLP, a leading national business law firm, will present a seminar to help hedge fund organizers, managers and advisors identify and avoid common pitfalls. “Fiduciary Landmines in Organizing and Operating Hedge Funds” is a free seminar open to hedge fund industry professionals and will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on May 17 from noon to 4:15 p.m. CDT.

Hedge Fund Innovator Joel Press of Morgan Stanley Will Deliver Keynote: “Emerging Trends in a Newly Scrutinized Industry”

The seminar focuses on how to identify and resolve fiduciary issues in structuring and operating hedge funds. The program is structured to provide valuable insight into the obligations of alternative asset managers. It is geared to hedge fund managers, compliance professionals and vendors who provide services to the hedge fund industry.

In addition to Joel Press of Morgan Stanley, other speakers and panelists will include Howard Altman, Co-Managing Principal at Rothstein Kass, a leading accounting firm for hedge funds; Scott Richter, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, JPMorgan; Sam Weiser, former Managing Director, Citigroup; Douglas Squassoni, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Mellon Bank; Aaron Vermut, Chief Operating Officer, Merlin Securities; and Thomas Feher, Partner, Thompson Hine.

“The hedge fund industry is at a crossroads, and confusion about the potential for increased oversight is making it an ongoing challenge for the industry to anticipate emerging issues,” said Richard Heller, a partner in the investment management practice at Thompson Hine in New York, who is organizing the conference. “This seminar will help put things into perspective for current hedge fund managers, as well as those considering establishing alternative investment funds. Fiduciary landmines abound. Knowing where and how to deal with them is key.”

Conference topics include:
* “Issues of Interest to Alternative Asset Fund Managers”
* Luncheon Keynote: “Emerging Trends in a Newly Scrutinized Industry”
* “Issues to Consider When Structuring a Hedge Fund and Soliciting Investors”
* “Fiduciary Aspects of Running a Hedge Fund”

While hedge funds are no longer required to register with the SEC, the rules that govern how brokers use their “soft dollar” commissions are designed to prevent abuses, such as payment for meals, rent, travel and other expenses not directly attributable to investment decisions. Additionally, the SEC is reviewing a change to the accredited investor rule which may have implications for the hedge fund industry.

The seminar is free and open to hedge fund industry professionals. Registry online by May 7.

Thompson Hine’s May 17 hedge fund landmine seminar will be followed at 5:30 p.m. by The Fifth Annual “Open Your Heart to Children” benefit held by the Chicago chapter of Hedge Funds Care at the Millennium Park Rooftop Terrace.

Court Of Baltimore Rules Against Costa Brava Hedge Fund

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City has, for the third time in just over a year, denied legal motions filed against Telos Corporation by Costa Brava Partnership III, L.P., a Boston-based hedge fund. Costa Brava previously had two motions for receivership dismissed or denied, and a motion for preliminary injunction regarding the sale of assets dismissed.

John B. Wood, CEO of Telos said, “As we said in our memorandum to the court, Costa Brava clearly refuses to take no for an answer. Not satisfied that their stock value has increased by nearly 200% in less than two years, Costa Brava wants to litigate even higher returns, an act that could have detrimental effects on our other shareholders and our employees.”

The activist hedge fund was demanding that Telos be prohibited from pursuing or closing any sale of assets until after May 31, 2007. That is the date that Costa Brava hopes to elect two new Class D directors of their choosing to the Telos Board of Directors.

Costa Brava and Telos are scheduled to meet on May 31 to discuss the election of two Class D directors. Costa Brava was previously given an opportunity to elect Class D directors, but failed to pursue that opportunity. The Court recognized Costa Brava’s “earlier reluctance” to fill the directorships and found that the Telos was “not in violation of any statutory, charter or by-law requirements with respect to the pending election of those directors.”

The same Court has in the past has addressed several claims by the activist hedge fund, including a recent opinion regarding Costa Brava’s demand that Telos be placed into receivership.

Wood said that Telos, whose stock over the past five years has outperformed the NASDAQ composite by 100%, “is committed to treating all shareholders equitably and continuing to focus on our role as a trusted provider of security solutions to U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense.”

$91.16 Billion Hedge Fund Driven Bank Merger To Go Through

The Managing Board and Supervisory Board of ABN AMRO Holding N.V. and the Board of Directors of Barclays PLC announced jointly this morning that agreement has been reached on the combination of ABN AMRO and Barclays for $91.16 billion, in the world's largest bank takeover.

In March hedge fund and major shareholder TCI announced in a letter to Dutch bank ABN Amro that they believe the bank is undervalued and should sell some of its assets, merge with another bank, or even sell off the whole business. ABN Amro is due to hold a shareholder meeting this week and each of the Boards has unanimously resolved to recommend this new transaction to its respective shareholders. The holding company of the combined group will be called Barclays PLC.

The merger was expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of this year, the banks said. As part of the deal, ABN Amro announced it was selling its U.S. unit, LaSalle Bank, to Bank of America Corp. for $21 billion in cash. Under the deal announced Monday, Barclays offered 36.25 euros ($49.25) for each ABN Amro share, slightly below Friday's closing price of 36.29 euros ($49.38).

"The proposed merger of ABN Amro and Barclays will create a strong and competitive combination for its clients with superior products and extensive distribution," the banks said in a statement. "The merged group is expected to generate significant and sustained future incremental earnings growth for shareholders."

Barclays CEO John Varley said the hedge fund shareholders faced a stark choice: Either deconstruct ABN Amro by opting for the competing consortium's bid, or form one of the world's largest banks by accepting Barclays takeover. TCI, the hedge fund that pushed for the bank's breakup, said it was studying the proposed deal.

5th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Award Nominees

Alternative Investment News, a publication of Institutional Investor News covering the global hedge fund industry, has announced the nominees for the 5th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards. The awards recognize the hedge fund leaders, managers and investors who have made significant impacts on the hedge fund industry in the past year. Winners will be announced and awarded at an annual gala dinner on June 27, 2007, at New York City's historic Gotham Hall.

Nominees in all categories were selected by the editors of Alternative Investment News based on their accomplishments during the 2006 calendar year.

Lifetime Achievement award winner:
Guy Wyser-Pratte, President, Wyser Pratte & Company


Hedge Fund Leader of the Year:
Absolute Capital Management
Citadel Investment Group
Bulldog Investors
Fortress Investment Group

Fund of Funds Leader of the Year:
Cadogan Management
Dorchester Capital
Eden Rock Capital Management
Harcourt Investment Consulting

Hedge Fund Launch of the Year:
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
MatlinPatterson Asset Management
Montrica Investment Management
Oceanwood Capital Management
Paulson Credit Opportunities

Emerging Manager of the Year:
ARCIM Advisors
Hudson Bay Capital Management
MKM Longboat Advisors
Rasmala Investments

Institutional Manager of the Year:
Lyxor Asset Management
Martin Currie Investment Management
Morgan Stanley
Robeco Group

Nonprofit Investor of the Year:
Bowdoin College
MIT Investment Management Company (MIT IMC)
Macarthur Foundation

Public Pension Fund Investor of the Year:
New Jersey State Investment Council
California Public Employees Retirement System
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

Corporate Pension Fund Investor of the Year:
BT and Hermes Pensions Management
General Motors Investment Management (GMIMCo)

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