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8 Sep 2009

Third Avenue Launches Credit Fund, Hires Blackrock Hedge Fund Specialist

Third Avenue Management LLC, the investment adviser to the Third Avenue Funds has launched the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund, capitalizing on credit, distressed and value equity investing.

"The current market environment provides attractive opportunities for experienced credit pickers like Third Avenue Management to generate meaningful returns," David Barse, Chief Executive Officer of Third Avenue Management, said, "Portfolio Manager Jeff Gary and Senior Research Analyst Thomas Lapointe will lead the effort of managing the new fund."

Prior to joining Third Avenue, Gary was at BlackRock Financial, which he joined in 2003 as the Portfolio Manager and head of the high-yield and distressed investment team which managed approximately $17 billion in assets in various mutual funds and institutional accounts.

Lapointe will focus on identifying and researching opportunities in high-yield and bank loan investments. Lapointe has over 17 years of investment experience and was previously responsible for managing approximately $6 billion in high-yield assets, as Co-Head of High-Yield Investments for Columbia Management.

"Third Avenue’s style emphasizes credit selection, total return and a deep value approach," Gary said, "Our opportunistic mandate allows us to invest in a wide range of credit securities – including bank loans, high-yield and convertible securities – that have the best risk-adjusted return potential which distinguishes the Fund from typical high-yield funds.”

The Fund will offer two classes of shares, Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund Investor Class, and Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund Institutional Class.

Third Avenue Management has approximately $14 billion in assets under management and offers value-oriented strategies through mutual funds, UCITS, separate accounts and alternative investment vehicles.

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