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15 Aug 2008

Hedge Fund Advisor Hires Mathematician and Boosts Assets

Hedge fund advisory firm D5 announced the launch of two new accounts, with each promising capacity of $50 million, for a possible $ 100 million on additional capital for the firm. The new accounts coincide with the hiring of mathematician and scientist Andrew Vizcarra as Director of research.

"Andrew's 10 years in the study and teaching of mathematics and statistics is a great asset to our research department and is a wonderful compliment to the fundamental nature of our strategy." Theodore Dumbauld, founder of D5 said, "Mr Vizarra will focus on both the enhancement of our current strategy and the exploration of universe expansion."

D5's strategy utilizes a relative value strategy, trading only a unique set of securities for which net asset values can be calculated.

Hedge Fund Harbinger Buys Nearly 5%of Cablevision

Harbinger Capital Management, an activist hedge fund has accumulated a 4.9% stake in Cablevision Systems Corp, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In a regulatory filing, Harbinger said that it had bought 11.45 million of Cablevision's Class A shares. Harbinger, now Cablevision's fifth biggest shareholder, was not present at meetings with the company's top executives and large investors this week, the Journal said, citing a person familiar with the meetings.

The move may have prompted CEO James Dolan to explore options. Cablevision shareholders rejected a $36.26-a-share buyout from the founding Dolan family last October. That bid was the family's fourth attempt to take the company private.

The Dolan family owns 75% of the voting rights for Cablevision. It remains unclear what Harbinger intends to do with its holding. Harbinger isn’t currently planning a proxy fight with the company, said a person close to the company.

Cablevision last month acquired 97% of Newsday Media Group ("Newsday") through the formation of a new partnership with Tribune Company. For Cablevision, the completion of this transaction adds a complementary print and online media group with local content in the New York area.

Hedge Fund Correlation Research Report by Credit Suisse

Hedge funds generally are more correlated in bull market runs and more de-correlation at market downturns. A comparison of the Credit Suisse/Tremont Broad Benchmark Index (HEDG), an asset-weighted broad benchmark of the hedge fund industry, to the MSCI World Index, a broad equity index, shows that the 12-month rolling correlation between the two has dropped from its peak of 0.97 in June 2006 to 0.61 in June 2008. The findings are given in a research report by Credit Suisse Index.

The report showed that during times of market stress sharp declines from HEDG’s previous peak levels of positive correlation with MSCI World demonstrated the ability to de-correlate from broad equity market indices.

Between July 2007 and June 2008, HEDG increased by 4.09% compared with a fall of 12.5% in the MSCI World Index and a decrease of 13% in the S&P 500.

The ability of hedge funds to maintain exposure to a range of asset classes allows them to preserve capital in down markets and, if successful, offer a more balanced investment option compared to traditional equity indices. In addition, the ability of hedge funds to monetise negative views through short selling is clearly effective during market downturns.