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27 May 2009

Europe's Top 50 Hedge Fund Firms

Alpha Magazine unveiled the 2009 Europe Hedge Fund top 50, showing that that Europe was not immune to investor angst over hedge funds. A wave of investor withdrawals shapes the magazine's annual ranking of the 50 biggest European single-manager hedge fund firms, as total assets fell to $285 billion as of January 1, 2009, from $405 billion a year earlier, a 30% drop.

Europe's hedge fund business may be looking at an encouraging longer-term picture, however. The region boasts five of the world's 20 biggest hedge fund firms -- led by two London-based powerhouses, Brevan Howard Asset Management and Man Investments.

Brevan Howard's total assets surged from $21 billion at the end of 2007 to $26.8 billion when this year began, elevating the firm from third to first in Alpha's 2009 Europe Hedge Fund 50. Man Investments had a similarly strong year; its overall assets grew from $20.9 billion to $24.4 billion, lifting the firm two rungs to second place.

The two top European hedge fund firms in last year's ranking have been taken down a few notches. Barclays Global Investors falls from No. 1 to No. 3, and GLG Partners drops from No. 2 to No. 8; the firms saw their assets drop, respectively, 35 percent and 52 percent.

Alpha's Europe Hedge Fund Top 5

Rank Firm Total Capital ($ millions)
1 Brevan Howard Asset Management $26,840
2 Man Investments 24,400
3 Barclays Global Investors 17,000
4 BlueBay Asset Management 16,700
5 Bluecrest Capital Management 13,273

Click on Alpha's 2009 Europe Hedge Fund 50 to view the complete rankings of all 50 firms.

How the Ranking Was Compiled

For Alpha's 2009 Europe Hedge Fund 50, data was gathered through questionnaires completed by hedge fund managers, supplemented by extensive Alpha staff research. We provide each manager's total assets under management as of January 1, 2009, unless otherwise indicated. Where possible, we also show assets at the individual fund level, with 2008 net returns, for the five biggest funds run by a firm.

Barclay Hedge Fund Rankings Rate Tranen #1 in Fixed Income Asset Backed Lending

British Virgin Islands based hedge fund manager Tranen Capital took the lead in the Fixed Income - Asset-Backed Lending category for March 2009 with a return of 2.49%.

In addition to the March performance, the fund, 'Tranen Capital Alternative Investment Fund Ltd.' posted a YTD (through April) change in NAV of 11.5%.

“Investors are keenly aware of the dismal and unstable returns from the major financial markets. They are demanding alternatives and absolute returns. The Barclay ranking certainly highlights the strategy’s excellent returns but more importantly, it demonstrates that the funds’ performance is non-correlated to financial markets. The Fund’s NAV has increased 27% since July 2008, which has been independently determined by our actuaries, Data Life, and confirmed by our Administrator Commonwealth Fund Services. Additionally, we have also recently delivered our first independent audit to investors, “says Kenneth Landgaard, Portfolio Manager.

Tranen Capital’s strategy is to trade life insurance policies in the Life Markets Space, more commonly referred to as the Life Settlements Market. The Life Markets Space enables seniors to sell their life insurance contracts for more than the cash surrender value than they would otherwise receive from the Insurance Company. The credit crisis has helped create more supply as Seniors (65 or older) are looking for other ways to generate cash. In fact, the life settlements market is expected to grow to over $160 billion over the next several years, according to a Sanford Bernstein report.

Arthur Bowen, Director and in-house counsel explained, “The growth in the life settlement market confirms the validity of this asset class and we continue to see great interest from institutional investors. These sophisticated investors understand the strategy and they appreciate that Tranen has gone to great lengths to provide an institutional quality product with a great level of transparency.”

Tranen Capital offers qualified offshore investors access to the Tranen Capital Alternative Investment Fund Ltd. with a 1% acquisition fee and a 20% incentive fee. The minimum investment is $100k USD.