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22 Mar 2010

UK Bribery Bill Will Give Sharper Teeth To Global Fraud Clampdown

HedgeCo Blogs - Britain looks set to become part of the world’s biggest ever concerted attack on fraud and corruption within financial institutions.

The Bribery Bill – which now seems certain to be passed before the UK General Election – will bring Britain more into line with tough U.S. regulations, according to Complinet, one of the world’s leading suppliers of global finance solutions.

“The new laws will be the most powerful weapons yet in the fight against fraud and deception”, said Chris Pilling, Complinet’s CEO. “They will also be the first step towards worldwide co-ordination of compliance laws among regulators.”

Key parts of the Bribery Bill include making it illegal to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business and making it an offence if companies fail to prevent a bribe being paid by their employees or by other firms on their behalf.

Employees face jail sentences of up to ten years and companies could be hit with unlimited fines.

There had been fears that the Bill – currently making its way through the Houses of Parliament – could have been a victim of the timing of the General Election, which looks increasingly likely to be held on May 6th.

Now legislators are confident – because of widespread agreement among the political parties – that the new laws will not run into time difficulties and receive Royal Assent before the Dissolution of Parliament.

“At Complinet, we’ve seen financial companies trying hard to keep up with compliance changes, but the option for strict legal enforcement is necessary as well”, said Pilling. “The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) urgently needs the new powers contained in the Bill to deal with corruption in companies and keep Britain in line with laws which have been introduced in other countries.”

Morgan Stanley's Hedge Fund Division Raises $370 Million For Private Equity Funds

HedgeCo News - Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners (AIP) raised $370 million in commitments for Morgan Stanley AIP Phoenix Global Real Estate Secondaries 2009 LP (Phoenix), a fund dedicated to acquiring secondary interests in opportunistic and value-added private equity real estate funds. The capital raised exceeded AIP's initial $250 million target.

"For the first time ever, investors in private equity real estate funds are selling significant interests in the secondary market, and as a result, we are finding tremendous opportunities to acquire high quality assets at attractive valuations," said Joseph D. Stecher, Head and Chief Investment Officer of AIP Real Estate Fund of Funds. "We are focusing on best-in-class small- to mid-size fund managers globally as we seek to capitalize on several distinct advantages of investing in the secondary market, including the ability to avoid start-up costs and fees, accelerate investment programs and shorten time for realization, and effectively value underlying asset portfolios."

The objective of Phoenix is to target off-market secondary opportunities in private equity real estate funds that have a sustainable strategy for generating superior returns across real estate cycles, an emphasis on strong real estate fundamentals and in-depth knowledge of local markets.

AIP is the fund of funds division of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. AIP manages portfolios of hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds for some of the world's largest institutions and high net worth individuals. AIP has offices in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; New York; San Francisco; Atlanta; London and Hong Kong.

Fund Of Hedge Funds ATLIN Completes $11 Million Buyback

HedgeCo News - Swiss $280m fund of hedge funds, ALTIN AG, has completed its 10% share buyback program initiated in July 2009. ALTIN repurchased 248,279 of its shares for a total of CHF 12.7 million ($11.95 million) corresponding to 5% of the share capital of ALTIN.

As of 1 Jan 2010 ALTIN was fully invested in hedge funds with 15.26% allocated to Macro strategy, 29.71% in Equity Long/Short, 2.58% in Equity long bias, 3.70% in Equity Arbitrage strategy, 3.70% in Event Driven, 3.64% in Fixed Income, 3.54% in Convertible Bonds, 13.38% in Credit Strategy, 17.32% in Multi-Strategy funds, 1.23% in Private Equity, 0.77% in Other Equity and Derivatives strategy, 1.04% in Others and 4.76% in ALTIN shares. Cash was reduced from 6.3% at the end of June 2009 to zero on 1 January 2010.

ALTIN AG is invested in approximately 40 hedge funds following various investment strategies. Its objective is to generate an absolute annual return in US dollars terms with lower volatility than equity markets. ALTIN is managed by Alternative Asset Advisors SA, a management firm specialised in alternative investments and a member of the SYZ & CO Group.