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30 Jun 2008

SGI Alternative Strategy Launch

Security Global Investors (SGI) announced a strategic initiative to intensify its capital raising efforts for alternative global equity product offerings.

SGI has been managing institutional assets since 1962 and currently has approximately $9 billion in assets under management, approximately $1 billion in global equity investment strategies. The global equity team manages a Global Long Only (GLO), A Global Long / Short Long-Biased (GLS), and is launching a new Global Market Neutral strategy (GMN) this year.

The company’s accelerated effort coincides with the hiring of industry veteran Sanjay Yodh to focus on the firm’s global alternative products. Yodh has more than a decade of institutional sales experience with J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Asset Management.

“We are a fundamental, research-driven team that employs a consistent, repeatable process. Our experience and focus on risk management makes SGI’s alternative products especially attractive for institutional investors in today’s volatile markets,” noted Yodh.

The performance of GLS, the transparency of the process and a deep 13-person investment team has garnered attention from hedge fund investors. John Boich, with more than 17 years experience in successfully managing global equity portfolios leads the team.

Boich spent eight years directing research and investment decisions for Montgomery Asset Management’s $4 billion global and international mandates. “We’ve always had a skilled team, a well-defined process, and competitive risk-adjusted performance track record,” Boich said.

27 Jun 2008

6th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards

Winners of Alternative Investment News' 6th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards were announced on Wednesday evening June 25th at a black-tie dinner and ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The awards recognized hedge funds, fund of funds, consultants, endowments, foundations and corporate and public funds that stood out for excellence in alternatives investing during the year.

Nearly 500 leaders and luminaries from every facet of the industry were in attendance to see winners announced and awarded 'Oscar-Style'. Michael Steinhardt, a pioneer in the hedge fund world, and Phil Goldstein, Founder of Bulldog Investments were in attendance to accept their respective awards for Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.

Winners were awarded in nine other categories, and included Paulson & Co. for Hedge Fund Leader.

Also recognized and awarded were the 2008 Rising Stars of Hedge Funds, 20 up-and-coming, talented young professionals poised to be future leaders of the industry.

This year's award winners were as follows:

Hedge Fund Leader of the Year:
Paulson & Co.

Fund of Hedge Funds Leader of the Year:
Harcourt Investment Consulting

Emerging Manager of the Year:
Algebris Investments

Hedge Fund Launch of the Year:

Institutional Manager of the Year:
The Blackstone Group

Public Fund Investor of the Year:
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Corporate Pension Fund of the Year:
Railway Pension Trustee Company

Nonprofit Investor of the Year:
Texas Christian University

Hedge Fund Consultant of the Year:
Jaeson Dubrovay, NEPC

Visit the awards website for additional information:

EU Recommends a Tightening of Hedge Fund Transparency Laws

The EU Parliament has come up with new guidelines regarding hedge fund transparency,
'asset stripping' and proposed some investigative measures and rules so that companies are not left in the dark on the investment policies of hedge funds or private equity investors who buy up their shares.

They also want much more light to be shed on pay and bonus packaged for fund managers. The commission also asked that the EU address the issue of money laundering, specifically in the context of hedge and private equity funds.

MEPs in committee unanimously approved the report by Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP–ED, DE) which would - if approved by the plenary - become a formal request to the Commission to put forward EU legislation.

The EP committee proposes to oblige hedge funds and private equity funds to disclose and explain the companies whose shares they acquire or own, retail and institutional investors, prime brokers and supervisors - their investment policy and the associated risks.

The committee also asks the Commission to investigate the possibility to apply, to alternative investments, contract terms allowing for a clear limitation of risk, for measures to be taken if thresholds are exceeded, for a clear description of lock-up periods and for explicit conditions concerning cancellation and termination of investment contracts.

MEPs want the Commission to propose rules forbidding "asset stripping" by investors who misuse their financial power in a way that merely disadvantages the company acquired in the long term, without having any positive impact on its future - or the interests of employees, creditors and business partners. They therefore propose common EU rules to guarantee capital maintenance of companies.

Regarding private equity funds, Members in committee suggested, among several proposals, that the Commission should address the issue of irresponsible lending to private equity funds, where banks disclaim any responsibility for what the loan is used for and where the money that repays the loan comes from.

26 Jun 2008

MFA Travels To China To Hold Alternative Investment Meetings

The Managed Funds Association MFA and CME Group (CME), a Strategic Partner member, recently arrived back from a jointly arranged trip to meet with Chinese government officials, policy makers and financial services representatives.

The MFA and CME co-sponsored a conference, "Global Markets and the Role of Alternative Investments" was held in June with the Tianjin Municipal People’s Government and China Foreign Exchange Administration Magazine.

"The conference agenda helped us to continue a dialogue about the important role of alternative investments in the capital markets and to strengthen relationships
in China as its economy and financial markets grow." Richard H. Baker, MFA President and CEO, said.

Members who participated in the conference included; Citadel Investment Group,
L.L.C.; Fairfield Greenwich Group (FGG); Harbinger Capital Partners Funds; Moore Capital Management, LLC; Tudor Investment Corporation; the D.E. Shaw Group; Paulson & Co., Inc.; and S.A.C. Capital Advisors, LLC.

"MFA’s visit to China is part of its ongoing international outreach with policy makers and its mission to provide information about the global alternative investment industry." MFA said.

MFA is the voice of the global alternative investment industry. Its members include
professionals in hedge funds, funds of funds and managed futures funds. MFA Members represent the majority of the largest hedge fund groups in the world who manage a substantial portion of the approximately $2 trillion invested in absolute return strategies.

25 Jun 2008

Hedge Fund Nominees

AdultVest was nominated among others for the 'Hedge Fund Launch of the Year' Award, the alternative investment fund is the world’s first Investment Community designed specifically for the Adult Industry.

Other nominees include, Brevan Howard Asset Management, Citadel Investment Group, Odey Asset Management and Paulson & Co. for the 'Hedge Fund Leader of the Year' award.

Th winners will be celebrated 'Oscar-style' at a gala awards dinner and ceremony this evening, June 25th at Cipriani Wall Street, NYC. The award ceremony will be held in conjunction with Institutional Investor Conferences' Hedge Fund Investor Symposium, and will host more than 400 leaders in the hedge fund industry.

The 6th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards recognizes the hedge funds, fund of funds, endowments, foundations, and corporate and public pension funds that have stood out for their notable accomplishments in alternative investments during the past year.

Winners will be selected by the staff of Alternative Investment News and Institutional Investor Magazine.

23 Jun 2008

Athamas Hedge Fund Launch

Athamas Capital, a Luxembourg domiciled alternative investment fund, has announced the launch of the Athamas Capital SICAV SIF Hedge Fund. (Specialised Investment Fund)

Launched on June 1st, the hedge fund´s strategy is to achieve an absolute return by investing in listed companies addressing the energy and environmental challenges, including; energy, alternative energy, agriculture, energy efficiency and environmental services.

With Goldman Sachas as prime broker, the Athamas Capital SICAV SIF Hedge Fund has EUR16.5 million ($25.5 million) in seed capital and is open to professional investors, high net worth individuals and institutional investors for a minimum investment of EUR250,000 (approximately $390,000). The target fund size for 2010 through 2012 is EUR50-100 million (approximately $77-154 million).

The hedge fund's strategy stems from the conviction that the energy and environmental sectors will be key in the 21st century due to the depletion of the global energy supply, rising demand, global warming issues raising awareness, as well as regulations and business initiatives to adapt and mitigate it.

Structured as an umbrella fund with four sub-funds, (some of which are yet to be launched) Athamas Capital is an alternative investment fund in the energy and environmental sector, trading mainly along the lines of; long/short equities, long/short listed or OTC derivatives, and futures on indices or commodities.

Athamas means; ("rich harvest"), the king of Orchomenos in Greek mythology, was the son of Eole. He was married first to the goddess Nephele (goddess of Clouds) with whom he had the twins Phrixus (driving rain) and Helle (bright light).

19 Jun 2008

200K Hedge Funds for Children Fundraiser to Repeat

The fourth annual Hedge Funds Care Cayman (HFCC),“Open your heart to children benefit”, gala dinner is taking place this year in November at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.

Last year, $254,000 was raised by HFCC for the Nadine Andreas Foster Home, the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, the CAYS Foundation, the Ministry of Education and the Human Rights Commission.

FHCC is an alliance of the Cayman Islands hedge fund industry professionals devoted to raising funds for the prevention of child abuse and associated treatment initiatives.

The black-tie affair will feature a star-studded evening of glitz, glamour and entertainment. Highlights will include a champagne and cocktail reception, dinner and dancing, and a silent and live auction, featuring such items as sports dream getaway packages, exquisite jewellery, and sports memorabilia.

The Cayman Committee of Hearts has representation by Appleby, Butterfield Bank, CIBC, Citco, Deloitte, DMS Management, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Maples and Calder, Ogier, PWC, Rawlinson and Hunter, UBS and Walkers.

18 Jun 2008

Diamond Fund To Launch In London

The first publicly listed fund investing in rare white and coloured diamonds, the 'diamond fund' is to be launched on the London Stock Exchange, according to news sources.

Diamond Circle Capital PLC hopes to raise $400 million in its initial public offering (IPO), building a portfolio of diamonds with a minimum investment of $1 million per stone, and then to wait for prices to increase.

The fund will be headed up by independent commodity asset management firm Diapason Commodities Management, which provides a range of commodity investment solutions to its institutional and high net worth clients.

According to a Reuters report, the closed-end fund will invest in the high-quality segment of the physical polished diamond market, according to a prospectus for the initial public share offer, expected to take place on June 24.

"Catalysts for growth in investment demand are in place for large high-quality diamonds, underpinned by the rising number of high net-worth individuals, especially in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Russian Federation," the prospectus for the Diamond Circle fund said.

The prospectus also said that "A steadily declining mineral reserve base, compounded by limited exploration success, suggested tight supplies would continue, which industry analysts say could mean long-term growth for the fund."

17 Jun 2008

MFA Submits Comments On Hedge Fund Committees

Hedge Fund representative, the Managed Funds Association (MFA), has submitted comments on the Best Practices Reports released by the two Committees appointed by the U.S. President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG).

The Asset Managers’ Committee Report and the Investors’ Committee Report provide
guidance for establishing best practices standards for the hedge fund industry and its investors.

"MFA has reviewed thoroughly the Asset Managers’ Committee Report and the Investors’ Committee Report, and we are broadly supportive of both sets of recommendations, which are comprehensive and substantive." Richard H. Baker, MFA President and CEO, said.

Andrew Baker, Deputy CEO of the Alternative Investment Management Association
(AIMA) said, "We fully endorse the responses submitted by MFA to both committees... We are committed to the international harmonisation of sound practices for the alternative investment industry and look forward to leading this global approach with MFA as well as with all other industry stakeholders."

MFA represents members of the the global alternative investment industry. Including professionals in hedge funds, funds of funds and managed futures funds. MFA Members represent the vast majority of the largest hedge fund groups in the world who manage a substantial portion of the approximately $2 trillion invested in absolute return strategies.

16 Jun 2008

Monaco to Host Global Hedge Fund Conference

Hedge fund managers, gurus and 'Out of the box' guest speakers are gathering at the Grimaldi Forum to debate distressed investing issues and macro strategies for 2008.

The 14th Annual Gaim International 2008, a global hedge fund industry conference is being held tomorrow through Thursday in Monaco. The conference has 40 slots over 3 days and will cover issues such as the state of the world economy to strategy and hedge fund philanthropy.

1100 investors, distributors and asset managers are expected at the hedge fund industry’s flagship conference, attracting the largest proportion of asset allocators in hedge funds than any other alternatives event.

Hedge fund experts are scheduled to speak at the meeting, and the guest speakers include former holder of the land speed record, Richard Noble.

The conference is taking place as the $2.6 trillion hedge fund industry confronts poor returns and investor outflows and searches for a follow-up to the favored strategy for 2007, which was taking bets on the explosion in subprime loans.

13 Jun 2008

JPMorgan to Launch European Hedge Fund Into UK

JPMorgan Asset Management is planning to expand one of their European hedge funds into the UK market in the coming weeks, according to FT.

The JPM Highbridge Statistical Market Neutral fund was launched in Luxembourg in 2006 and has had great success from retail investors wanting access to hedge fund techniques. The hedge fund has raised over £5.14 billion ($10 billion ) since November 2006.

Michael Parsons, head of UK retail sales described the offering as being attractive to those who "don't want long exposure in US markets" but are still looking for an attractive investment opportunity, FT said. On the back of the success of this, JPMAM is to distribute the fund in the UK with a sterling hedged share class.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.6 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries.

12 Jun 2008

US Hedge Fund to Manage $88 Billion in UK Outsourcing Funds

Leading UK investment manager, Hermes Fund Managers Limited (Hermes), announced the appointment of US hedge fund manager Northern Trust, to provide middle office outsourcing fund administration and custody.

With an anticipated £23 billion ($45 billion) in assets under management, the middle office plans to include the UK's largest Pension Scheme ("BTPS"), which will be in excess of £45 billion ($88 bilion).

As part of the arrangement Northern Trust will also support the launch of Hermes' new range of Dublin-based funds providing trustee, custody, fund accounting and transfer agency services.

"Northern Trust was appointed following a rigorous selection and due diligence process from a short-list of two providers." Rupert Clarke, Chief Executive of Hermes said, "Outsourcing these functions is consistent with our strategy of focusing on growing a specialist investment management business."

Northern Trust, a multibank holding company based in Chicago, has international offices in 15 locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Northern Trust had assets under custody of $4.0 trillion, and assets under investment management of $778.6 billion.

Hermes currently has £36.2 billion ($70.4 billion) under management, investing assets on behalf of 206 clients, including pension funds, insurance companies, government entities and financial institutions, as well as charities and endowments.

11 Jun 2008

GGHFI Reports Strong Hedge Fund Performance in May

The Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index(GGHFI)reported May returns of +2.01% while the Greenwich Composite Investable Index returned +1.66%. The May Index currently includes 1345 constituent funds.

By comparison, the S&P 500 showed gains of +1.29%, while MSCI World Equity and FTSE 100 indices posted returns of +1.11% and -0.56%.

"Across the board, hedge funds performed well in May. But the real story is told when comparing year-to-date performance," notes Margaret Gilbert, Managing Director. "Hedge funds are positive for the year compared to the major equity indices which still remain negative."

For the second month in a row, Long/Short Equity managers were the best performing strategy group, posting a gain of +2.35%. Directional Trading managers, the best performing strategy group so far this year, exhibited another strong month, returning +2.00%.

Specialty Strategy managers were the second-best performing strategy group, returning +2.10% on average. The Market Neutral Group averaged +1.39% on the month as Event Driven managers continued to find opportunities in uncertain markets.

9 Jun 2008

Man Group Invests in Weather and CAT Bond Company

Man Group has agreed to pay $50 million for a 25% stake in Nephila Capital, an alternative investment manager specializing in insurance-based instruments such as insurance linked securities, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps and weather derivatives.

The CEO of Man Group plc, Peter Clarke, said, "This transaction further develops Man's strategy to expand the range of opportunities for our investors. The natural catastrophe and weather derivative markets offer significant opportunities for uncorrelated alternative investment returns. We are excited at the prospects of this strategic partnership and what it means for our and Nephila's investors."

The investment, which follows Man's purchase of 50% of credit specialist Ore Hill in March, comes as the increasingly competitive hedge fund industry hunts for sources of extra return not correlated with traditional markets.

Bermuda-based Nephila, which manages around $2.4 billion in assets and employs 25 staff, specialises in insurance-based instruments such as insurance-linked securities, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps and weather derivatives, Man said in a statement on Friday.

Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages over $78 billion and employs 1,600 people in 13 countries worldwide.

6 Jun 2008

AIG and Larch Lane Create Hedge Fund Seeding Deal

Hedge Fund Investor AIG and Advisor Larch Lane have announced the formation of a joint venture to make seed investments in hedge funds. The joint venture seeks to capitalize on synergies between AIG Investments' global alternative investment and hedge fund capabilities and Larch Lane's specialization in hedge fund seeding.

Targets may include hedge fund start-ups, teams leaving established hedge funds, and established hedge funds in need of restructuring. They anticipate investing $50-200 million per deal across a wide range of hedge fund strategies and geographies.

"Talented investors are leaving large hedge funds to start their own businesses, but many of them have not been able to reach their capital targets." Mark Jurish, Larch Lane's CEO said, "The current supply/demand imbalance for start-up hedge fund capital represents the best seeding opportunity I've ever seen"

AIG Investments has been investing in hedge funds for 26 years and currently manages over $10 billion of hedge fund assets. AIG is currently invested in more than 130 hedge funds, including emerging managers. Larch Lane, the alternative investment affiliate of Old Mutual Asset Management, is among the pioneers in the hedge fund seeding business and has made a total of 22 seed investments over the course of the last seven years.

3 Jun 2008

Hedge Fund Expansion Into Development Property

Hedge fund Three Arch Investors has begun buying tracts of abandoned development land in California.

“Property and land values in California have dropped to very low lows and at some stage they will recover." John Godden, managing partner of London-based IGS Group said, “This is the ultimate way to play what everyone knows to be the situation.”

"The price of homes have fallen by a little under 20% over the past year, and land prices have slumped by almost 80%." David Michelson, manager of the California Distressed Land Fund said. “The banks do not want this stuff, they want to get rid of it,” he said.

The fund, which has a target size of $150m to $250m, provides an alternative to commercial property funds or residential property index derivatives for those seeking to benefit from any upswing in the property sector.

Stanley Fink Retires From Man Group

Man Group announced the retirement of hedge fund magnate Stanley Fink, who will not be seeking re-election as a Director. He stepped down from Chief Executive in April of last year to become Deputy Chairman.

Fink joined Man in 1987 and was Chief Executive for seven years till 2000, prior to which he ran the investment management business.

"I have spent more than 21 years at Man Group, and have been on the Board for all but the first six months of that time," Stanley Fink said regarding his time with Man Group, "during which the company has undergone immense change which has seen it emerge as a leading player in the alternative asset management industry."

Fink also said, "I have many commercial and philanthropic interests outside Man Group to which I am increasingly committed and I am eager to pursue these, and other new opportunities, more fully."

Man is the leading global alternative investment management business, the original business being founded in 1783. It is ranked in the top 40 companies of the FTSE 100 Index with a market capitalisation of about $20 billion.

2 Jun 2008

AdultVest Hedge Fund Acquires iPorn

Francis Koenig, Chairman of AdultVest Inc., announced the acquisition of The acquisition coincides with the firm’s online marketplace topping $7 Billion in available capital for adult industry related investments.

"We are very excited about the acquisition… Investors in our Priapus Investment Fund, LLC are extremely pleased to be a part of this landmark purchase. We have very big plans for iPorn. This acquisition is a natural fit." says Koenig.

With AdultVest growing at the rate of $300 Million per week, they last year launched the Bacchus Investment Fund and the Priapus Investment Fund, both also aimed at attracting the open-minded investor and the billions of dollars spent on adult entertainment in North America every year.

Koening says, "Transparency and liquidity builds credibility and investor confidence, which ultimately drives the price of a company higher. I believe this is the formula to unlocking value in some of the adult industry’s hidden gems. Wait till you see what we have in store."

Another feature that will appeal to investors, Koening says, is that the firm does not take its performance fee until 100% of the capital is returned to its clients.