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5 Jan 2009

Finvest Launches Private Equity Fund

After being awarded $2.5 billion in allocation for investment in private equity, hedge fund manager Finvest Asset Management, announced the launch of a private equity initiative. Finvest is also separately dedicating $300 million to a fund of funds.

The $2.5 billion capital allocation to Finvest is being made by a European family office seeking to increase its exposure in the private equity space.

Targeting companies which are listed on the main boards in Northern American and European markets, the fund will seek to allocate capital to between 25 and 100 companies, with each allocation ranging in a value of between $10 million and $250 million.

The new fund's time horizon will be between 3-5 years, although liquidity will be an important criterion assessing risk. Companies below a $200 million market capitalization will not be discounted, however, the fund will be favorably disposed towards companies with higher market capitalization levels, and which exhibit a high percentage of outstanding shares. The model which is being applied by Finvest is slightly different to the typical private equity structure, which generally would consider stakes in private companies which are not listed and perhaps seek to extract value through an IPO.

The team at the Finvest Private Equity fund indicated that their due diligence turn around period is quite aggressive. "While we are not looking to cut corners on due diligence, we are looking to fast track the allocation process, so that we can take advantage of a market which has been beaten to shreds," said Finvest portfolio strategist Mayer Greenwald.

"We do not have an agenda to take control or necessarily secure a controlling interest in the firm. We typically would base an interest in a company on the fact that management know what they are doing, and understand their area of endeavor better than others. Our philosophy is to provide company management with additional capital, and give them the opportunity to continue running with the ball. Obviously, we appreciate regular feedback on progress or challenges which are being faced in the industry." Greenwald concluded.

Hedge Fund Manager Waives Managment Fees

Renaissance Institutional Futures, a $3 billion futures fund run by hedge fund management company, Renaissance Technologies, has waived all it's management fees for 2009, even if the fund delivers good results in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Renaissance told investors in a end-of-year letter that the futures fund was waiving it's 1% fixed management fee following poor performance in 2008. The discount is estimated by the Journal to save investors $30 million.

Renaissance Technologies was started in 1982 by James Simons, Renaissance currently has approximately $20 billion in assets under management. The company operates in East Setauket, Long Island, New York, near Stony Brook University. Administrative functions are handled out of offices in Manhattan.