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30 Sep 2010

Barclays Wealth has hired fourteen new investment representatives

$232 billion hedge fund manager Barclays Wealth has hired fourteen new investment representatives in it US branch offices.

In Miami, Tony Esses joins as a Director and Investment Representative after 24 years at HSBC Private. Robert Sperber joins as a Director and Investment Representative from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Previously, Sperber was a financial advisor at UBS and Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. James Hafele, also joins Sperber’s team from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

In Palm Beach, Matthew Burton joins as a Vice President and Investment Representative from JP Morgan.

In Atlanta, Tom Pair joins Barclays Wealth as a Director and Investment Representative in Atlanta. John Nicholas joins as a Vice President and Investment Representative in Atlanta from Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Forest Simmons joins as a Vice President and Investment Representative in Atlanta from BNY Mellon Wealth Management, where he worked for the past three years.

In New York, Ron Willis and John-Paul Tomassetti have joined as Directors and Investment Representatives. Rene Joliot, Edgar Ramirez and Romel Rodriguez have joined Barclays Wealth as Investment Representatives in New York from UBS International.

In Philadelphia, Gerhard van Arkel and Brett Thomas Meyers joined as Investment Representatives in from Wilmington Trust.

Finally, Barclays Wealth appointed Brian Sears as a Managing Director and Regional Manager for Los Angeles. Sears joins from Neuberger Berman in New York, where he was most recently Global Co-Head of Distribution for Alternative Investments. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as an investment advisor at Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

29 Sep 2010

Hedge Funds Provide Biofuel Company With Bridge Loan

New York - Hedge funds Third Point and Greenlight Capital have made a short-term loan of $19.4 million to BioFuel Energy Corp., in which they hold shares, MarketWatch reports.

With a 12.4% interest rate, a 4% fee and and repayments by March 24, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission reports that the bridge loan is secured by an equity stake in a BioFuel subsidiary.

The two hedge funds own 69% of BioFuel’s outstanding common shares combined, MaketWatch said. Third Point and Greenlight stand to make a large profit if BioFuel does not produce the payments.

With debts of $212 million, BioFuel has lost $57 million since 2007.

Hedge Funds To Get Tribune Out Of Bankruptcy

HedgeCo News - The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times have made a deal with hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co LP., which will give the two hedge funds significant stakes in the now bankrupt Tribune Co., according to a Reuters report.

Hedge fund Angelo, Gordon & Co., already holds stakes in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Minneapolis StarTribune.

The Tribune has been languishing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 2008, the deal would also would allow for Tribune to exit bankruptcy before resolving legal claims, Reuters said.

Awaiting bankruptcy court approval, Tribune said the two hedge funds hold a "significant" amount of the $6.6 billion in loans stemming from the first part of the two-step deal that put the previous owner in control.

"The mediator is confident that the proposed plan will lead to additional constructive discussions between and among the debtors and other parties," said a court filing from Kevin Gross, the Delaware bankruptcy judge who acted as mediator, according to the paper. The mediations are ongoing.

28 Sep 2010

The Age Illusion: How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement

New York ( Global hedge fund manager Barclays Wealth reports that retirement is being rejected by a new breed of wealthy workers – the 'Nevertirees' - who want to carry on working for as long as they are able.

Ledbury Research surveyed over 2,000 high net worth individuals, all of whom had over $1.5m/1m in investable assets, 200 had more than $15m/10m. Respondents came from 20 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Sixty percent of wealthy individuals polled in a global survey say that they plan to become a Nevertiree, shunning traditional retirement, instead continuing to work, start businesses and take on new projects in their later years.

The report, the 12th in the Barclays Wealth Insights series, is based on a survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals, who were asked to consider what retirement and later life means to them.

The findings show that the concept of nevertirement is expected to grow over the coming decades, with over 70% of respondents under the age of 45 saying that they will always be involved in some form of work.

In particular, 75% of U.S. respondents plan to work part time after they have stopped working permanently, seven percent more than the global average. Specifically, 32% plan to work between five and 20 hours per week in "retirement", and seven percent plan to work more than 20 hours per week, "simply reaching the normal age to retire" is not at all important in determining when they stop working.

Only 40% of U.S. high net worth individuals "completely agree" that they are "totally confident" in having enough money for retirement, with another 37% "slightly agreeing". Only 48% of U.S. high net worth individuals would completely classify themselves as financially secure.

When planning for retirement 35% of U.S. wealthy feel that the rate of tax they have to pay is predictable, compared to 58% of Latin American high net worth individuals and 73% of wealthy individuals in Switzerland.

Further, one in ten of the wealthiest surveyed do not agree that they have enough money for retirement (greater than $15m in investable assets). Among the global wealthy who are already retired, only 51% agree they are completely confident in having enough money for their retirement.

21 Sep 2010

Hedge Fund Launch: Clareville Capital Partners LLP

HedgeCo News - Privately owned financial management company, ML Capital Asset Management, (ML Capital) announced that the first manager to launch on the Montlake UCTIS platform* will be Clareville Capital Partners LLP, the hedge fund founded by David Yarrow. The fund will commence trading on October 1, 2010.

"The UCITS revolution allows investors to access managers who can actively short stocks and hedge a portfolio, however managers with long and successful experience of running equity hedge funds are in short supply." John Lowry, Chairman of ML Capital said, "The Pegasus fund has been running for over a decade and has always been run in line with the UCITS principles, which is very comforting to our investors."

David Yarrow and Angus Donaldson will co-manage a UCITS compliant derivative of the 13-year-old Pegasus Fund, which employs a UK Long/Short equity strategy.

"Yarrow and Donaldson's investment style will appeal to a lot of our investors. Their strong performance in upwardly trending markets and excellent downside protection in perilous markets is demonstrated by their track record." Lowry said.

"The past 10 years have illustrated the limitations of traditional "long only" equity investing." Angus Donaldson added, "All investors should have the opportunity to protect themselves from market volatility by investing in regulated hedge funds. However, many of the managers who have launched alternative UCITS products have found that they have weak brand awareness outside of the hedge fund world. This applies not just to smaller boutiques but also some of the very largest hedge fund houses. "

*Domiciled in Ireland, the Montlake UCITS platform Plc, provides investment managers with a turnkey solution for launching UCITS funds under its umbrella structure.

20 Sep 2010

Dublin As A Center Of Hedge Fund Expertise

HedgeCo News New Jersey-based hedge fund service provider Fi-Tek LLC has chosen Dublin for it's European headquarters. "Ireland's pro-business environment, availability of highly skilled personnel, the presence of many of our clients, and working with IDA were the key reasons Ireland was chosen as the location for our European Headquarters." Peter Marshall, Managing Director, Fi-Tek Ireland said.

The company provides software products and solutions for the alternative investments, trust, asset servicing and securities processing industries. The company's HedgeTek product, a fully integrated book and tax allocation platform for hedge funds, covers both US partnerships and unitised funds, is used by many of the leading hedge fund administrators, accounting firms and fund managers servicing over 3,500 funds with over $400 billion in assets..

"Ireland is the largest hedge fund administration centre in the world with almost half of all global alternative investment funds operated from here." Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O'Keeffe said, "Fi-Tek's decision to establish a European headquarters in Dublin shows we can out-perform rival locations for major global investments in the financial services sector. More than half the world's leading financial services firms now have operations in Ireland."

"Fi-Tek Ireland has recently gone live implementing HedgeTek with two leading global banks in Dublin," stated Subir Chatterjee, Fi-Tek founder and CEO. "Dublin has become a center of expertise for hedge fund administration globally, and our intent is to make Fi-Tek Ireland a centre of excellence for us as well."

Charter Launches London Hedge Fund

HedgeCo News - Charter Group has teamed up with Brian Taitz to launch a new hedge fund administration firm, Charter Group Fund Administration Ltd. The firm is based in London and focuses primarily on offshore funds managed by boutique fund managers.

Taitz founded and successfully managed an award-winning fund administration operation in Sydney, Australia before relocating to the UK. In Taitz’s previous firm, clients included regional Hedge Fund of the Year winners, Best Market Neutral Fund winners, other alternatives including electricity and power hedge funds, as well as established and distinguished long only boutiques.

Taitz says that the UK market is fragmented with larger administrators turning away smaller funds and relying more on their size than their service levels to win clients. This leads to clients having to look to foreign providers to fill the gap and then having to deal with a plethora of issues such as time zones and language or cultural differences. Taitz says it is re-assuring for a fund manager to know that they can deal directly with the principals of the business whose office is around the corner.

The boutique offers full service fund administration to offshore funds and caters for a wide variety of strategies including equity long/short, long only, market neutral, arbitrage, global macro, private equity, fund-of-hedge funds and others. For more traditional funds, the firm offers an attribution/ performance analysis reporting service.

The firm sees its differentiating factors as being: an unrelenting focus on service quality; having the best technology available; hiring properly qualified staff; and being based in London, in close proximity to intended clients. “Our clients are not just one of hundreds fighting for management’s attention which may be the case at the larger shops” says Taitz.

The firm also has the distinct technological advantage that all its administrative services are carried out through a single integrated system - investor registry, fund accounting, investing and complex performance fees – reducing risk and leading to greater efficiencies.

“Our key strategic differentiator, however, is to pace our growth.” Taitz continues, “As a result we will position ourselves as a premier provider of fund administration services to boutiques. We will soft close periodically to ensure that service levels are never compromised.”

16 Sep 2010

People Moves: Hedgeye Names Gagliardi Managing Director of Energy

HedgeCo News – Virtual hedge fund, Hedgeye Risk Management, has appointed industry veteran Louis Gagliardi as Managing Director of Energy.

Gagliardi was noted in Robert Bryce’s book as being an “Analyst Who Thinks” and “the first time any major Wall Street research firm had dared question Enron’s valuation.” Gagliardi is also known for alerting investors as early as 2003 ahead of buying opportunities in emerging markets: Brazil’s Petrobras, Russia’s Lukoil, China’s PetroChina, Austria’s OMV, and Hungary’s MOL. Gagliardi has been cited throughout the media including CNBC, NY Times, Forbes, and Financial Times.

“We’re thrilled to have Lou champion our Energy effort and add to our growing platform; he brings experience across investment analysis and corporate, a stellar track record, and a history of thinking independently on behalf of his clients.” Keith McCullough, CEO of Hedgeye notes, “To that end, we’re confident that his standards and expertise will hold up to our client’s expectations, and our reputation.”

Hedgeye Risk Management will officially launch its Energy sector research and services to subscribers on September 16, 2010.

14 Sep 2010

Book Review: Too Big To Fail

HedgeCo Blogs - I asked Andrew Ross Sorkin: "In hindsight, what is the most important lesson to be learned from the financial crisis?"

"It all comes back to one word: debt." Sorkin said, "We can blame the financial crisis on a lot of things -- misguided housing policy, too-low interest rates, global imbalances, lax regulation, bankers-gone-wild -- but in the end, it was a function of an over-leveraged system."

Andrew Sorkin, the award winning financial reporter for the New York Times, spent over five hundred hours interviewing high net worth individuals, advisers and officials in an effort to capture the full account of the Financial crisis in detail.

In his book: "Too Big To Fail - The inside story on how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system - and themselves", Sorkin recounts the maelstrom that struck high finance in 2008 in story-like detail.

I can see why it has been on the bestseller list for over 40 weeks. Once revealed, it is hard to look away from the secret life of those in power. "Pay very much attention to the man behind the curtain."

Sorkin is also the editor and founder of Dealbook, an online daily financial report. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award, been named Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum and has recently been added to The Directorship 100, which recognizes influential US corporate boardroom members.

6 Months Inside For Robert Moffat in Hedge Fund Insider Trading Ring

HedgeCo News - Former IBM vice president Robert Moffat was sentenced to six months in prison in the Rajaratnam/Chiesi hedge fund insider trading case, the Courthouse News Services reported this morning. Judge Deborah Batts additionally fined Moffat $50,000.

“White-collar crime is just as destructive to our social fabric as the crimes of drugs and violence,” the Judge said in handing down the sentence. Moffat’s conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. His securities fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million.

Moffat pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy and securities fraud stemming from his involvement in the largest US hedge fund insider trading case in history.

The court documents reveal that in September 2008, Moffat provided Chiesi with insider information in August to October 2008, relating to IBM and Lenovo Group Ltd.

Moffat confessed to providing the indider information to to Danielle Chiesi, Rajaratnam’s co-defendant. She worked for New Castle Partners, an equity hedge fund group affiliated with JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Chiesi, along with Sri Lankan billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, are scheduled for trial in 2011.

Moffat said he did not use the information to make money, but that he passed it along to Chiesi through “misplaced trust” and “a misguided desire to appear important and knowledgeable.” the Courthouse News Services said.

Hedge Fund Launch: Peakside Opens Real Estate Private Equity Firm

HedgeCo News - Peakside Capital and its affiliates are launching a new real estate private equity firm and concluding a transaction with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BofAML”) involving the following elements:

• the acquisition by Peakside of BofAML’s 100% indirect interest in the general partner of the Merrill Lynch European Real Estate Opportunity Fund L.P. (“MLEREOF”), which has a total of EUR 261 million ($335.6 million) of capital commitments;
• the replacement of an affiliate of BofAML with Peakside as the manager of MLEREOF;
• the acquisition by Peakside of BofAML’s interests in the general partner and investment manager of the Bosphorus Real Estate Fund I (“BREF”), which has a total of EUR 204 million ($262 million) of capital commitments; and
• the completion of a portfolio management agreement between Peakside and an affiliate of BofAML for Peakside to manage a portfolio of European real estate investments held directly or indirectly by BofAML affiliates.

The Fund portions of this transaction have been approved, with the requisite voting percentages, by the limited partners of both the MLEREOF and BREF funds. In connection with the transaction, MLEREOF will be renamed “Peakside Real Estate Fund I”. BofAML plans to maintain its limited partnership positions in both funds following the transaction.

“Peakside will launch as a mid-sized manager with a strong track record, an experienced team and the investment capacity needed to take advantage of the opportunities that are rapidly emerging in real estate in Europe." Roger Barris, Chairman of Peakside, said.

Peakside has been newly created by the former senior managers of the European team of the Real Estate Principal Investments group within BofAML, consisting of Roger Barris, Stefan Aumann, Boris Schran and Mark Fenchelle. The team was responsible for the management of the two real estate funds and the European BofAML portfolio, In addition to the senior managers, Peakside has employed 13 former members of the BofAML group and plans to hire an additional 4 persons, including Christoph Munte, formerly of Morgan Stanley, who will join as General Counsel and a member of the Peakside Management Committee.

Peakside has opened offices in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg. Peakside will provide investment advisory, deal origination and execution, asset management and fund management services in real estate across Europe, including CEE and Turkey, to qualified investor clients such as institutions and high-net-worth individuals. Going forward, Peakside plans to raise discretionary funds, but also plans to take non-discretionary investment mandates from investors.

“We considered many alternatives for these assets, and driven by our confidence in the Peakside team, we concluded that the best option, in our capacity as a limited partner in the funds and the owner of the proprietary assets, is to allow the Peakside team to continue to manage the funds and the legacy European real estate assets as an independent company.” Jim Forbes, BofAML Global Principal Investments executive, said.

13 Sep 2010

Swiss Hedge Fund Acquires Dunedin Independent

HedgeCo News - Helvetia Wealth has expanded its influence in Scotland with the acquisition of Dunedin Independent, Scotland's largest independently-owned financial advisor (IFA) . With GBP350 million ($539 million) in AUM, Dundein is ranked in the top 100 wealth management companies in the UK.

"With offices also in Liechtenstein, Geneva, London, Hamburg, Mauritius, Dublin and Glasgow, Helvetia Wealth AG now has an increased asset base of CHF 1.5-billion ($1.47 billion), with the UK earmarked as one of the group's key markets," Helvetia CEO Kamil Stender, said. "Employing the latest methodologies in wealth management, we are well positioned to service the rapidly growing demand for wealth management services. This demand is the result of globalisation and the increased prosperity it engenders."

"There are now in excess of 7.6 million high net worth individuals worldwide. Since 2002, this market has grown at a rate of 7.5% p.a. And total assets under management now exceed CHF 36Trillion ($35.5 trillion)." Stender said.

"The enlarged group features two prominent IFA firms in Scotland, Dunedin Independent plc and City Gate Money Managers. In addition, Helvetia owns a controlling stake in London-based TAM Asset Management with a London Stock Exchange brokerage licence allowing us to execute our own trades faster at better margins." Yuill Irvine, MD at Dunedin Independent said, "The amalgamation will introduce a range of cost attractive synergies for Helvetia and attractive efficiencies for all three firm's clients as well as offering our clients access to Swiss banking facilities."

A team from leading national law firm HBJ Gateley Wareing acted on behalf of the shareholders of Dunedin Independent. "

10 Sep 2010

Cayman Ranked #1 For Hedge Funds, Specialized Finance

HedgeCo News - The world’s largest domicile for hedge funds, healthcare insurance captives and catastrophe bond transactions, has been named the top specialised financial center by The Banker, a banking and finance magazine, in it’s 2010 IFC Rankings released this month.

Cayman, for the second year running, has been awarded first place by an increased margin over other jurisdictions such as Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey, Malta, Gibraltar, Monaco and Cyprus.

The Banker’s ranking of international financial centres is based not simply on the size of the financial services industry in each location, but focuses instead on the level of international business and the value offered to institutions seeking to expand their overseas operations.

“This is yet another objective finding that reinforces the fact that Cayman is regarded by institutions, if not by stubborn popular press, as a successful and transparent tax neutral jurisdiction from which to base international operations.” Anthony Travers, OBE, Chairman of Cayman Finance said.

“This result comes at a time when Cayman has just signed its twentieth tax information exchange agreement and statistics from the Islands’ regulating body CIMA show a continuingly robust performance by the financial services industry over the past year. Most importantly the financial crisis has been negotiated without the need to introduce corporate, income, capital gains, payroll or property taxes, the absence of which is likely to enhance Cayman’s attraction in the immediate future.” Travers said.

Statistics from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) note that Cayman still maintains US$1.795 trillion in deposits and interbank bookings.

Lance Futures To Launch Hedge Funds, Futures Funds

HedgeCo News – Frankfurt based Lance Futures has established a team of Commodity Trading Advisors and is launching CTA based hedge funds and managed futures funds, providing their clients with risk-adjusted returns with low volatility.

Lance will be diversifying class fund assets transversely with a team of money managers whose expertise in technical strategies would help diversify portfolios of the investors as they are well-versed in counter-trend, pattern recognition, intra-market spreads and option volatility arbitrage.

The new fund management utilizes well-researched strategies across worldwide liquid exchange-traded futures markets and at the same time evaluates these futures markets across various time frames.

Targeting annual returns of 10-20 percent with less than 10 percent draw-downs and with expected annual volatilities of 10-to 15 percent, the Lance Futures Investment Team targets such performance through due diligence, fund management strategies, qualitative and quantitative screening, monitoring and rigorous selection processes.