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5 Oct 2011

Live #OccupyWallStreet Updates



Saturday: 10/8/11
Day 22
ABC: An expedition of protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement is scheduled to hold  a "general assembly" at 3 p.m, in Washington Square Park . Which they describe as an opportunity to recruit new supporters and share ideas.
ABC News reports that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain reiterated his criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protesters Friday, saying the groups are “anti-capitalism” and “anti-free market.”
Connecticut's version of "Occupy Wall Street" had its largest gathering to date Friday as more than 200 people joined an "Occupy Hartford" march through downtown and prepared to camp in a park.
Ben & Jerry’s made the following statement:
"We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us."
The company specified:
  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
  • Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
  • Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.
CBS Video: At the Value Voters Summit on Friday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he is "increasingly concerned" by "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations which began in New York and spread to other major cities.
Opinion from NYT: The Occupy Wall Street Quiz
"If you look at the results, you’ll see a sort of historically familiar pattern: Democrats sympathizing with the protestors, Republicans railing against them and Michael Bloomberg worrying about his city’s tax base."


Friday  10/7/11
Day 21

CNN Tweeted: Press Secretary Carney is expected to discuss the #OccupyWallStreet protests at today's White House briefing.
CBSNews Photo gallery
The Guardian also has a photo gallery up.
Friday Fun: 1% of the population (the cookie monster) eats 100% of the cookies.


Wednesday 10/5/11 Day 19

Washington Post: Who are the 99 percent?
“I am young. I am educated and hard working. I am not able to pay my bills. I am afraid of what the future holds.”


Who are the 99 percent? Part 2

“I did everything I was supposed to and I have nothing to show for it.”


NYDaily Mail reports that approximately $35,000 has been raise by the protesters so far. "Some money will be used to pay bail for arrested demonstrators."

From NPR: The Occupy Colleges movement called for a "nationwide college student walk out" at noon today, their website lists 75 colleges where walkouts are expected to happen.

Gothamist reports that Jeff Mangum played at the protest last night

The NYCLU Tweeted that they are sending a team of legal observers today.

From Politico - Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren came out swinging against the financial industry in her first U.S. Senate primary debate, arguing that “the people on Wall Street broke this country.”

From CNN - Transport Workers Union Local 100 spokesman Jim Gannon says,  'Their Goals Are Our Goals'

The Massachusetts Nurses Association says "hundreds" of the city's nurses will rally with the Occupy Boston protesters on Wednesday.

Protesters have begun publishing The Occupied Wall Street Journal, NYT reports.

Protest FAQ's by The Nation

Fox Footage on YouTube interview with a protester.

The "Occupy Wall Street" protests "appears to be settling in for the long term," NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Retro: Wall Street Protest, Circa 1967

Tuesday morning 10/4/11 Day 18

Anti-Wall Street protests spread to South Florida
NYT: Wall Street Closes Sharply Lower

10:20
CNN:  Demanding Accountability
10:15
Warren Buffett: Wall Street doesn't feel loved
Bloomberg: Anti-Wall Street protests spread nationwide
9: 57
Baltimore Sun. Occupy Wall Street protests spread to Baltimore, other cities
9:48
CNN Occupying Wall Street, demanding accountability

9:25
BBC: George Soros' sympathy for Wall Street protesters
WGA East Endorses Occupy Wall Street Protests
Daily Kos - Three Concrete Demands


Monday morning: 10/3/11
Live Tweeters
@OccupyWallStNYC
@jalfordfowler
12:00

  • Occupy Wall Street Protesters:  We Are Americans (ABC)
  • Protesters ask New Yorkers: We need blankets, water and food.
  • Mashable photos
12:45
Sunday: 10/3/11

A timeline of the Occupy Wall Street movement: (via MOJo)

Live updates by Alex Akesson
alex@hedgeco.net

23 Sep 2011

ALTSO's Annual Hedge Fund Charity Rocktoberfest


The Eighth Annual Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest, the cornerstone fundraiser for children’s charity A Leg To Stand On (“ALTSO”), is taking place on Thursday, October 13 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. 

Hedge fund managers and hedge fund related industry professionals will perform to raise money for ALTSO, which provides prosthetic limbs and corrective, life-altering surgeries to children with limb disabilities in developing market countries.

This year’s Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest promises to be ALTSO’s most high-octane event ever. Wide World Ferrari Maserati is sponsoring a Maserati Gran Turismo S which guests will have the opportunity to bid on that night. More than 1,000 attendees from the hedge fund and related financial services industries are expected at this year’s event.

12 Sep 2011

New Hedge Fund Gets $100 Million From World Bank



HedgeCo News - The World Bank's private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corp, is investing$100 million in a new hedge fund recently launched by Christofferson Robb & Co, according to Reuters.

The hedge fund, based in London and New York, will "Put up cash to cover unexpected loan losses in return for a cut from the bank. The fund’s cash will lower the banks’ requirements under the Basel capital rules and reduce the impact of planned tighter rules. IFC hopes the fund will encourage an extra $2.5bn to $4bn of lending to developing countries. " FT reported.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.

17 Aug 2011

Hedge Fund Acquisitions: Alaris/Concept Capital Markets


New York (HedgeCo.net) - Hedge fund manager and investor, Concept Capital Markets, LLC., has been acquired by hedge fund broker/dealer Alaris Trading Partners, LLC.
“Bringing our two companies together will allow us to capitalize on each other’s best practices, enhance our already high level of customer service, and provide our customers with an expanded offering” Jack Seibald, co-founder and Senior Managing Director of Concept Capital, said.
“This business combination will provide our customers with additional custodial options, and importantly, seamless risk management and reporting technology” Darren Day, President and co-founder of Alaris, added.
The terms of the transaction, which is pending approval by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, were not disclosed. The combined company will offer institutional brokerage services to hedge funds, asset managers, and registered investment advisers on a global basis.

10 Aug 2011

Nordic hedge fund managers on the U.S. downgrade



Here’s a excerpt from an article we did with some top Nordic hedge fund managers, asking them to comment on Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government bonds from AAA to AA+.
André Havas, Head of Investor Relations Optimized Portfolio Management Stockholm AB: “The world has not recovered fully from the financial crisis that started in 2007. Many of the risks that existed in the various markets are beginning to materialize, the consequences are apparent.
“What began with a banking crisis has now rubbed off on to individual countries. Both the credit crisis and the subsequent state debt crisis is by no means a new phenomenon. PIGS countries’ high budget deficits and high debt, combined with a disconnected economic credit expansion, has been under discussion since the mid 1990′s.”
Daniel Broby, Chief Investment Officer at Silk Invest Ltd: “Sadly, the downgrading of the US sovereign credit rating should have taken no-one by surprise, other than the Congressional Budget Office and a few wrong footed politicians. Whether net public debt is 79% or 81% by 2015 is neither here nor there. It is too much and it is fiscally irresponsible not to have a long term plan to bring it under control.
“The recent debt ceiling spat took saw politicians bring the US to the brink of a selective default on a technicality. That is not what one expects from a risk free rate. The US no longer deserves a AAA rating. In that respect, I note that the AA+ rating is still on negative watch.”
The full article is available at: Nordiska Hedgefondforvaltare Kommenterar
Most hedge fund managers chose not to respond.

Indie Film Financing at Annual Film Finance Summit in New York


HedgeCo News - The 11th annual New York International Film & TV Finance Summit, presented by BNA / CITE will convene September 22nd -23rd, 2011, to explore ways in which independents can find financing to make, distribute, and market films – even in a challenging economic environment.

The conference is sponsored by Deloitte LLP, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Film Pro Finance, Goodmans LLP, Entertainment Partners, Greater Philadelphia Film Office and Ontario Media Development Corp. ProductionHub is the media sponsor.

"Now more than ever, independent film companies and specialty divisions of major studios need to be creative when mining the money and tax incentive seam," says program director Robert Ross. "Our panelists, including film producers, bankers, film commissioners, talent agents, tax specialists, film finance lawyers and accountants, know the strategies that work and will share them in a host of case studies and panels across the two days."
More than 40 speakers will share their expertise, insights, ideas, and contact information throughout the sessions, networking meals and cocktail receptions.
  • Learn how to tap into state film tax credits and incentives in the U.S. and locate funds in international market
  • Get the latest developments in the use of Federal tax incentives, ETI exclusion, R&D credits in relation to film finance
  • Understand the roles played by specialized banks, finance companies, hedge funds and equity providers in film financing
  • Know how to properly utilize brand integration and execute product placement strategies to generate additional funds
  • Find out how to attach the right talent to a motion picture to make financing happen
  • Understand how to deal with labor issues in regard to producing an independent or studio feature film
  • Learn about the latest developments in digital distribution platforms and technologies in securing film financing
  • Hear in a case study how an independent feature film was financed, marketed and distributed
The 11th Annual International Film & TV Finance Summit will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, on 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, Tel 212 398 1900. To register, go to www.citeusa.org or call (800) 207.4432 for further information on special rates for independent producers, and sponsorship opportunities.

29 Jul 2011

Investors Allocated $30 Billion to Hedge Funds in Q2

HedgeCo News - Brighton House Associates (BHA) has released their quarterly report, which explores trends within the alternative investment industry during the second quarter.

Some highlights from the report include:

- The second quarter of 2011 was characterized by tumultuous global markets and uncertainty regarding the financial well-being of a number of euro-zone countries as well as the U.S. Still, investors remained interested in hedge funds and allocated $30 billion to the asset class during the quarter, a small decline from the $32 billion allocated in the first quarter. Despite lackluster returns and markets that proved challenging for hedge fund managers, funds saw strong investment inflows.

- Many investors who had been sitting on the sidelines became more active in the hedge fund space. In a conversation with BHA analysts, a wealth advisor investing on behalf of a large U.S. insurance firm noted that for the past three years, the firm had not been allocating to the hedge fund space. In the second quarter, however, the firm met with new managers, and it anticipates adding three or four global macro and CTA managers as well as two new long/short equity funds to its portfolio by the end of the year.

- Other investors increased their single-manager hedge fund exposure at the expense of their fund of hedge funds allocations. An insurance firm in Bermuda, which has traditionally invested in funds of hedge funds, confirmed that it is planning on investing solely in single-manager funds going forward. In fact, the firm plans on increasing its hedge fund allocation from its current $350 million to $800 million over the next two years. Still other investors were increasing their hedge fund exposure by employing firms to create customized funds of funds on their behalf, essentially designing a tailor-made hedge fund portfolio.

- In the private equity space investors were increasingly interested in sector-focused funds. While interest in funds with diversified sector exposure fell, investor demand grew for funds with exposure to the energy, technology, and clean-technology sectors. Compared with the first quarter of 2011, demand for energy, technology, and clean-technology focused funds grew by 53.6%, 33.1%, and 36.4% respectively.

BHA profiled just fewer than 1200 investor mandates across hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and related funds of funds through extensive one-on-one interviews with institutional investors around the globe.

26 Jul 2011

Hedge funds and game theory

coming soon

Assets under management threshold raised

HedgeCo Blogs - A new order impacting all SEC registered investment advisers (and certain state registered investment advisers) that provide advisory services to hedge funds and/or separately managed accounts and receive performance-based compensation for such advisory services.

Effective September 19, 2011, the assets under management threshold is being raised from $750,000 to $1 million and the net worth threshold is being raised from $1.5 million to $2 million. In addition, an investor can no longer include the value of his or her primary residence in calculating whether he or she meets the $2 million net worth threshold.

More info from Sadis & Goldberg

25 Jul 2011

Hedge Fund Convictions Over The Weekend

HedgeCo News - Over the weekend there were hedge fund fraud related convictions in the US, Australia and Germany. All have been sentenced to jail time.

US: Five employees for hedge fund manager A&O Resource Management Ltd were sentenced for their part in a $100 million fraud scheme.

“Brent Oncale (the founder) and his co-conspirators operated a sham investment company that turned fraud and deceit into a business model,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “They stole millions from hundreds of unsuspecting investors, pocketing huge sums for themselves.”

Russell E. Mackert, 52, general counsel for A&O, was sentenced to 188 months in prison; Brent Oncale, 36, former owner and founder of A&O, was sentenced to 120 months in prison; David White, 41, the former president of A&O, was sentenced to 60 months in prison; Eric M. Kurz, 47, a wholesaler of A&O investment products, was sentenced to 60 months in prison; and Tomme Bromseth, 69, an A&O sales agent in the Richmond area, was sentenced to 36 months in prison.

Australia: A New South Wales Supreme Court has convicted Shawn Richard of Astarra Asset Management with fraud, insisting on up to 5 years of jail time, the sentencing is scheduled for the 12 August.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission alleged that the hedge fund manager was placing investor monies in overseas hedge funds, in circumstances where he would personally receive a significant portion of the money.

“The monies Richard placed in the overseas hedge funds had been raised by the responsible entity of ASF, Trio Capital Limited (Trio).” The ASIC said, “Richard received in excess of $6.4 million in undisclosed payments.”

EU: Helmut Kiener, the founder of 345-million euro ($497 million) hedge fund K1 Group, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison. The ”Mini Madoff” was found guilty of fraud, forgery and tax evasion by a court in Germany.

Also sentenced last week: Danielle Chiesi was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for securities fraud.

New names in the Petters Ponzi: Frank Elroy Vennes, Jr., a business associate of and primary fundraiser for Thomas J. Petters was named in a superseding indictment last week, the indictment also charges James Nathan Fry, age 57, of Orono, Minnesota, with five counts of securities fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of making a false statement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission during its investigation of investments in PCI by hedge funds under the management of Fry’s company, Arrowhead Capital Management.

7 Jul 2011

S&P Awards SEB Fund of Hedge Funds "AA" Rating


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu)- SEB's True Market Neutral fund has become the first Nordic fund of hedge funds to receive an ”AA” rating by worldwide financial-market intelligence leader Standard & Poor (S&P).

"This is a stamp of approval for the fund, which has delivered stable returns for our customers regardless of the development in the stock market," Mikael Spångberg, lead manager at SEB's True Market Neutral fund, said.

The Sweden based wealth manager has total assets of SEK 2,118 billion and is represented in 21 countries with 17,000 employees.

S&P said of the the Swedish money manager, ”SEB deserves credit for its highly disciplined process, achieving the fund objective during periods in which the overwhelming majority of funds of hedge funds have fallen short. For example, the fund returned 3 per cent in 2008, and has continued to provide positive returns every year."

The fund, which is targeting institutional investors, aims to provide an annualised return of 3-4 percentage points above the risk free rate and to deviate no more than 5 percentage points from the target and have no correlation to stock markets.

In addition, S&P's has also rated SEB's hedge funds Dynamic Manger Alpha and Asset Selection funds "AA".

27 Jun 2011

New York Hedge Fund Launch: The Long/Short Stanphyl Fund


HedegCo News -  New York-based limited liability company Stanphyl Capital GP, LLC (Stanphyl) has launched a long/short equity hedge fund.


The new hedge fund, Stanphyl Capital Partners, LP., launched earlier this month out of NYC. Managing member Mark Spiegel reported the current AUM at $2M.

The Strategy
– Stanphyl runs a highly concentrated (three to ten “best ideas”) long-short equity strategy
– The long positions consist primarily– but not exclusively-- of underfollowed microcap stocks
– The short positions consist of individual stocks and index and “macro” ETFs
– Investment decisions are fundamentally-based (both top-down and bottom-up), with technical analysis occasionally used to optimize entry and exit points
– There are over 8000 publicly-traded U.S. companies with market caps of under $500 million.
- The managing member believes that “outsized” gains can be made in these stocks due to the minimal attention paid to them by large institutional investors, while by using ETFs to establish well-timed index and “macro” positions, hedges (and often outright gains) can be created on the short side with minimal risk of being “squeezed”
– Using modest leverage, the strategy has generated a 26.7% gross annualized return since January 1, 2005 for the managing member’s personal portfolio

Spiegel is the managing member of Stanphyl Capital GP, LLC and is a NY-based equity investor. From late 2003 through early 2009 he was an investment banker (most recently as a Principal with Piper Jaffray & Co.) financing microcap public companies via private placement (“PIPE” and “Registered Direct”) transactions sized from $5 million to $100 million in companies with market caps of $50 million to $500 million. Prior to becoming an investment banker, Mark spent a year “inside” (i.e., working for) a microcap Nasdaq tech company.

Some Hedge Fund Highlights
• Volatility:  Due to their reduced liquidity, microcap stocks can be quite volatile on a short-term basis, and this volatility is often compounded by the portfolio’s “best ideas” concentration and typical hold period of six months to two years. Thus, on a monthly basis the NAV of the portfolio can move around quite a bit.
• Investor Concentration Limitations:  While Spiegel keeps the majority of his liquid net worth in Stanphyl, due to its high degree of concentration he limits each investor to placing no more than 10% of his or her liquid net worth in the fund.
• Occasional Very High Levels of Cash: Depending upon the availability of attractive investment opportunities (or lack thereof), there are times when Stanphyl may have much or all of its assets in cash. Spiegel is quite comfortable with the concept of “patiently waiting for the right pitch at which to take a swing.”

Dyment Joins UBS as Global Head of Hedge Fund Distribution


Global wealth management giant UBS has appointed John Dyment,  president and founder of $9 billion Greenwich hedge fund, Shumway Capital Partners, as UBS's Global Head of Hedge Fund Distribution.

Based in New York, Dyment will be responsible for the management and development of UBS’s strategically important hedge fund franchise, with global functional responsibility for sales, capital introduction and business consultancy services to the hedge fund community within Global Prime Services and have responsibility for coordinating all hedge fund sales activities across the Investment Bank’s FICC and Equity Divisions.

"The hedge fund business presents a significant opportunity for our global investment banking franchise." Yassine Bouhara, UBS Co-Head of Global Equities, said, "Dyment comes to UBS with deep knowledge and experience, and we are pleased that he will lead our hedge fund distribution business globally. We are equally pleased to demonstrate continued investment in our senior team in the Americas, which is of critical importance to our global business."

Prior to the Shumway hedge fund, Dyment was Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, where he managed the Global Hedge Fund Capital Group. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Dyment worked for Goldman Sachs, building the firm’s capital introduction and consulting services businesses.

21 Jun 2011

DnB NOR Global Energy Hedge Fund Launch

Stockholm based hedge fund manager, Carlson Fund, has launched a Global Energy fund. The fund invests in traditional energy companies globally, emerging markets included. Prime investment targets are oil and gas companies as well as in the service industry.

Lill Evanger Aafos and Aliya Orazalina will be managing the fund. They have 28 years of combined investment experience.

Ms. Aafos came to DnB NOR in 2008 to head up the global energy team. Previously, she was responsible for all energy investments at Norway’s state pension fund.

The new fund was launched on April 29. Carlson is part of the DnB NOR Asset Management group, which has a long history of managing energy stocks as part of client mandates and global portfolios.

The case for energy
To sustain global growth, the world has a need for energy that goes beyond the sources currently available.
Consumption in emerging markets has a long way to go to catch up with that of the West: The average Chinese citizen will have to quadruple his energy consumption to reach the consumption level of Americans. Indians must increase consumption more than tenfold.

Discovery of new oil does not keep up with increases in consumption, and new finds are in places where extraction is difficult. This leads to higher prices on oil and increased activity in the oil sector.

Recent set-backs for the nuclear energy sector will make the world more dependent on other sources of energy. Germany decided this week to decommission all nuclear reactors by 2022. Alternative energies are part of the mix, but traditional sources will still make up the lion’s share of energy supply over the foreseeable future.

Hedge Fund Industry Awards

HedgeCo News - Sadis and Goldberg was named the best law firm in the United States at the Hedgeweek USA Awards. The awards were for excellence among hedge fund managers and service providers for the U.S. industry's best performers and their ability to demonstrate consistency and depth of expertise against the backdrop of a more complex investment climate.

The awards were decided by the votes of Hedgeweek's 20,000 U.S. based subscribers, which include institutional and high net worth investors, fund administrators, prime brokers, custodians, advisers and other industry professionals. Ron S. Geffner, Partner and Head of the Financial Services Group, stated that, "the Hedgeweek USA Law Awards rank amongst the top global awards and we are honored to be recognized by our industry in this category."

Sadis & Goldberg is one of New York's leading law firms, providing legal counsel to several hundred advisers, broker-dealers and commodity pool operators that sponsor, manage and advise hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds and separately managed accounts.

Preet Bharara on the Galleon Hedge Fund Trial


The June 27, 2011, issue of The New Yorker, on page 42, “A Dirty Business”, George Packer, writes about the biggest insider-trading case in history, and has an exclusive interview with Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office pursued the investigation.

When Bharara took office, in 2009, he made it clear that he would go after Wall Street greed, and the Galleon case helps to illustrate the broader culture of the financial world, in which, “over the past decade, cheating and self-dealing became a principal way to succeed,” Packer writes.

But some Wall Street observers have called the Galleon case—which included thousands of taped phone calls by the government and more than two hundred and thirty subpoenas for phone numbers by the S.E.C.—a sideshow.

The case centers around Raj Rajaratnam, the head of Galleon, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund, and Anil Kumar, a former senior executive with the consulting firm McKinsey, who, in 2003, secretly agreed to be an outside consultant to Rajaratnam. In seducing Kumar, Packer writes, Rajaratnam “made a valuable addition to the network that he had built up over the years.”

Initially, Kumar believed that he’d be passing information to Rajaratnam legally, but it wasn’t long before he realized that Rajaratnam wanted tips that he could convert into profitable stock trades, and Kumar began breaking both McKinsey’s confidentiality rules and the securities laws that forbid such exchanges. When Kumar was arrested and subsequently handcuffed, Packer writes, “He fainted, hitting his head against a wall. He had to be treated at a local hospital before he could be brought in for booking.” Later that day, Rajaratnam’s wife sent a text message to Kumar’s wife, which read, “I’m sorry.”
Read the full review on HedgeCo.

7 Jun 2011

Morningstar: Merrant Outperforms With High Sharpe Ratio and Low Standard Deviation


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu) - Leading Swedish hedge fund investor, Merrant Alpha Select, has continued to outperform its peers, according to global hedge fund research provider Morningstar.

Merrant Alpha Select has the second highest Sharpe ratio and the third lowest standard deviation of all the 2700 Fund of Hedge Funds (FoHFs)on Morningstar Direct´s global database.

"The (fund) has an unbroken track-record of positive returns and has proven it's ability to generate substantial alpha and explore market inefficiencies regardless of the directional movement of global equity and bond markets." Managers Ulf Sedig & Rolf Hagekrans said in a press release regarding Morningstar's rating.

The FoHF performed +0,42% in April, with a Sharpe ratio of 4,64 and has shown 100% positive months and 87% positive weeks since inception. The FoHF targets an annual performance of 8-14% and a standard deviation of 2-4%.

6 Jun 2011

Survey: Co-domiciled Hedge Funds On The Rise

HedgeCo News - A survey report released today by RBC Dexia and KPMG predicts that hedge fund managers will continue to create EU-domiciled hedge funds to complement their Cayman Islands or other offshore offerings, but that the QIFs and SIFs were gaining popularity versus the UCITS framework.

The survey challenges the notion that onshore domiciles could rival the supremacy of the Cayman Islands amongst hedge fund managers. Only a quarter (24%) of hedge fund managers said that they had already brought offshore funds onshore. Of those, more than half (55%) said they opted for co-domiciliation by creating onshore clone funds to complement their existing Cayman or other offshore offerings. Less than 5% of those with onshore funds said they had decided to transfer the domicile of their funds to the EU outright. The trend for hedge funds to create more EU regulated funds seems set to continue however, with 27% of respondents stating that they are considering doing so.

Jean-Michel Loehr, Chief of Industry and Government Relations at RBC Dexia, commented: "The survey shows that EU fund domiciles are becoming more and more relevant to the hedge fund community, and that they respond to a real need amongst clients for more liquidity and transparency. Co-domiciliation allows hedge fund managers to cater to investors that are not authorised to buy into Cayman funds with onshore products while retaining their existing offshore strategies."

The prominence of co-domiciliation could be short lived however due to uncertainty over the AIFM Directive: most hedge fund managers considering domiciling their funds in the EU said they would do so before the implementation of the AIFM Directive in 2013, and fully 69% of them said they were considering doing so by transferring the domicile of their existing funds to the EU.

The research also shows that the UCITS framework, which some respondents said was an effective marketing tool to stem outflows during the financial crisis, has lost some of its appeal amongst hedge fund managers. Indeed, whereas those polled were just as likely to set up UCITS funds as other regulated structures, such as Irish QIFs and Luxembourg SIFs, in the past, 77% of those considering creating an onshore structure in the future now say they would prefer QIFs and SIFs instead.

Tom Brown, KPMG Head of Investment Management for the EMEA Region, said: "The market is starting to realise that even though 90% of alternative strategies can be replicated under UCITS, specialised structures such as SIFs and QIFs offer more flexible liquidity and transparency rules for hedge funds. UCITS still offers very robust protection for investors, but clearly the wholesale shift into alternative UCITS some had been predicting has not taken place."

1 Jun 2011

Ethical Hedge Fund Sees Positive Results in 2011


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu) - Long/short European equity fund CB Hedge is up +2.27 for April 2011 and up +4.1 in the last 12 months.

The hedge fund is run by CB Asset Management, a Swedish investment company with high ethical guidelines regarding alcohol and tobacco, weapons, child labour, extortion and corruption.

With SEB as primebroker, CB Hedge is a long/short European equities fund with the objective of generating an absolute return of 10-15%. To provide a systematic protection during a decline CB Hedge takes a short position in a European index. Usually, the turnover of the portfolio is very low.

Launched in 2007, the hedge fund is biased towards market neutrality, always net long but never more than 20% of the fund's AuM.Investors can buy shares on a daily basis and sell shares on a monthly basis. The performance fee is 20% of the return and there is a 1% redemption fee. There is currently no minimum required investment or subscription fee.

CB Asset Management was established in 1994 upon licensing from Finansinspektionen (FI), the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Swedish FSA), for management of equity portfolios. The company manages three funds: CB Hedge, European Quality Fund and Save Earth Fund. The funds are managed by Carl Bernadotte, Marcus Grimfors and Alexander Jansson.

Alexis Åkesson
Editor at HedgeFonder.nu
www.hedgefonder.nuhttp://hedgefonder.nu/

23 May 2011

New Yorker Review: Madoff’s Curveball

HedgeCo News - In the upcoming May 30th issue of The New Yorker, the article by Jeffrey Toobin, “Madoff’s Curveball”, covers the the money Fred Wilpon, the chairman and chief executive of the New York Mets, lost in Madoff’s hedge fund Ponzi scheme and what it means for Wilpon’s future with the Mets.

Tobin also speaks with Madoff about his take on the events.

Wilpon was introduced to Bernard Madoff by his son, Jeff, who had become friendly with Madoff’s son Mark. Toobin writes that “for a few years they had contact only through their sons. Then Madoff made a casual offer to manage some of Wilpon’s money.” Wilpon, his family, and his friends began sending Madoff money to manage in the mid-eighties, and Wilpon tells Toobin, “we jumped in very small. And, as the years went, it became more and more and more and more.”

“Madoff talks about his investment strategy as if it were a finely tuned instrument that just went a little off at some point,” but that he “is contrite—sort of.” Still, Madoff speaks about his financial acumen with unmistakable pride. “The strategy that I was using for them, whether it was real or not, was not something that anyone would understand if you were not an expert.”

Madoff tells Toobin that Wilpon “must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved. Hopefully, they will understand the pressures I was under. I made money for them legitimately to start, but then I got trapped and was not able to work my way out of it. It just became impossible for me to extricate myself, or even try and extricate myself.”

“It’s really tragic,” Madoff tells Toobin. “I feel terrible about everything that he’s going through.” Madoff says that Wilpon and Katz “were only guilty of trusting their friend and I will live with that guilt and shame forever.”

The full review can be found on HedgeCo News.

19 May 2011

Brummer & Partners Win Three Hedge Funds Review Awards


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu) - Some of the biggest names in Europe’s hedge fund industry won awards at The Eleventh Hedge Funds Review European Performance Awards in London yesterday.

Swedish hedge fund manager, Brummer & Partners, won the award for "Best fixed income hedge fund" and "Best non-directional hedge fund over 10 years", for hedge fund Nektar Asset Management. Nektar was also shortlisted for "Hedge fund of the year" and "Best non-directional hedge fund over three years."

Another of Brummer & Partners hedge fund's, Futuris Asset Management, won "Best directional hedge fund over 10 years" and was shortlisted for, "Best directional hedge fund over three years."

The "Hedge fund of the year" award went to GLG Market Neutral Fund run by GLG Partners, now part of the Man Group.

The Judges were Caroline Butler, co-director of family office Lord North Street; Phil Irvine, director of PiRho Investment Consulting; Chris Jones, chief investment officer (CIO) at Key Asset Management; Tushar Patel, managing director of Investment Management; and Michiel Timmerman, managing director and CIO at Ignis Advisors. Chairman of the panel was Margie Lindsay, editor of Hedge Funds Review.


Alexis Åkesson
Editor at HedgeFonder.nu
www.hedgefonder.nu

18 May 2011

AlfaKraft's CTA Fund Up 9,89% In April


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu) - Swedish hedge fund manager AlfaKraft, which specialises in quantitative hedge funds investing in energy and commodities, posted strong results in April. One of their hedge funds, the ALFA Commodity Fund, is up 9,89% for the month.

AlfaKraft manages two hedge funds, the ALFA Commodity Fund and the ALFA Energy Fund, up 2,0% in April. The ALFA Commodity Fund is up 12,47% YTD 2011 and the ALFA Energy Fund is up 9.56% YTD.

"The strong result for ALFA Commodity Fund last month is due to the upward trends in metals, especially in silver." Managers Thomas Stridsman and Bengt Lindblad said in their April report, "While most of our competitors in CTA's had a difficult time, AlfaKraft posted positive results for both hedge funds, which have also outperformed the Newedge CTA Trend Sub-Index (www.barclayhedge.com)."

AlfaKraft was founded in 1998 and invests in energy and raw materials, as well as different types of futures and mutual funds, commodities, currencies, interest rates and stock indices. Under the supervision of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority since 1999, the hedge fund manager offers institutions and private individuals an opportunity to add alternative investments to their portfolio.

17 May 2011

Hedge Fund Managers, The Mayor And Republicans Join The Fight For Same Sex Marriage in NY

HedgeCo News - - A group of three hedge fund managers, Paul E. Singer, a "top-tier Republican donor," Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness have decided to back, financially and otherwise, the establishment of same-sex marriage in the state of New York, the New York Times reported.

Some comments in the Times include:

- "An unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes." The Times reported.

- "I'm a pretty straight-down-the-line small-government guy," Asness, a self-described libertarian, told the New York paper. "This is an issue of basic freedom," he said.

- "We believe in social justice for all Americans," said Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Advisers and is a frequent fundraiser for Republicans.

- "I think it is important in particular for Republicans to know this is a bipartisan issue," said hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cause. "If they're Republican, they will not be abandoned by the party for supporting this. On the contrary, I think they will find that there is a whole new world of people who will support them on an ongoing basis if they support this cause."

- "The involvement of Mr. Singer is the most striking," the Times reported, "given his devotion to conservative candidates and philanthropy: He is chairman of the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning research group, and one of the most generous Republican donors in the country. But he also has a personal stake in the issue: he has a gay son who married his partner in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist, is also planning a fundraiser for the cause at his Upper East Side town house and will be giving $100,000 of his own money, as well as lobbying lawmakers at the state capital and giving a speech on the issue.

The donations from the Republican donors total about two-thirds of the same-sex marriage coalition's fund raising. On Sunday, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage held competing rallies in Manhattan and the Bronx, the New American reported.

16 May 2011

40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Hedge Funds


HedgeCo News - Financial News has announced it's first listing of the 40 under 40 Rising Stars of Hedge Funds, acknowledging the talent of men and women from all corners of the hedge fund industry.

"The list, which was whittled down from a longer list of 100, was drawn up by a panel of four over three months." Financial News said, Their roles vary, but the 40 names on the list all have in common fierce determination, dedication, dynamism and, of course, youth."

The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

Shamez Alibhai, partner and head of real estate debt management team at Cheyne Capital (38)
Jamie Allsopp, portfolio manager, Insparo Asset Management (33)
Reza Amiri, founder of Susa Fund Management (36)
Geoff Bamber, chief investment officer, Skyline Capital (29)
Daniele Benatoff, co-founder, Benros Capital (31)
Jeff Blumberg, chief executive, Egerton Capital (35)
Charlotte Burkeman, co-head of European prime brokerage, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (32)
Leonard Charlton, portfolio manager, Dalton Strategic Partnership (34)
Jean-François Comte, co-president, Lutetia Capital (36)
Frederic Couderc, founder, Toro Capital at Chenavari Financial Group (36)
Anne-Sophie d’Andlau, co-founder and deputy chief executive, CIAM (38)
Django Davidson, partner, Algebris Investments (31)
Frederic Denjoy, founder, Denjoy Capital Partners (33)
Pedro de Noronha, founder, Noster Capital (34)
Dominic Freemantle, head of European prime brokerage sales and capital introductions, Morgan Stanley (35)
Lisa Fridman, head of European manager research, Paamco (31)
James Hanbury, portfolio manager, Odey Asset Management (31)
Ali Hedayat, partner, Edoma Partners (36)
Jeff Holland, founder, Liongate Capital Management (36)
Alexander Ivanovitch, managing partner, The Environmental Investment Partnership (34)
Mark Jones, chief operating officer, GLG (31)
Andre Konstantinow, head of manager selection, Barclays UK Retirement Fund (34)
Damien Loveday, global head of hedge fund research, Towers Watson (34)
Simone Lowe, fund manager, Thames River (29)
Jerome Lussan, founder, Laven Partners (38)
Tommaso Mancuso, partner and head of research, Hermes BPK Partners (34)
Lionel Melka, founder and head of research, Bernheim, Dreyfus & Co (34)
Henrik Molin, head of development, Frey Quantitative Strategies (35)
Gideon Nieuwoudt, portfolio manager and member of the investment committee, Silver Creek (35)
Emily Porter, portfolio manager, absolute return strategies, Universities Superannuation Scheme (32)
Stephen Rosen, senior portfolio manager, Omni Partners (35)
Ariel Roskis, co-founder, Benros Capital (35)
Fabrice Seiman, co-president, Lutetia Capital (32)
Edgar Senior, global co-head of capital services, Credit Suisse (35)
Robert Sorrell, founder, Sorrell Capital (36)
Nick Stukas, managing partner, Nightscape Capital (32)
Ross Turner, founder, Pelham Capital (34);
Alex Vaskevitch, fund manager, BCM & Partners (31)
Tim West, partner, Herbert Smith (33)
Guy Wolf, partner, Oxburgh Partners (34)

The criteria for the award was achievement to date given their age, the stature of their mentors, firepower at their disposal and their potential to reach a position of great influence.

9 May 2011

Hedge Funds in April: Net trade is up 500% since March

Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu) - Investors are buying hedge funds while selling low risk mutual funds according to statistics from Nordic stock analyst company, Nordnet.

"Investors are still waiting for direction when it comes to investing, due to the recent debt crisis." Jan Dinkelspiel, Head of the Swedish arm at Nordnet, said, "Whatever happens next will determine how investors will invest in the future."

Net trade has grown by over 500% since March, showing that investors are venturing into the market again. Investors are choosing to invest in niche funds such as hedge funds, small caps, and emerging market funds.

The top ten funds selling in Sweden at the moment include:

Brummer & Partners Nektar
Key Management
Robur Eastern Europe Fund
Ohman High Yield Fund
Fidelity Korea Fund
Nordnet Stock Index Sweden
Skagen Kon-Tiki
Excalibur Fund
Skagen Global
Atlantic Stability

The statistics come from a database of over 215 000 Swedish Nordnet accounts during the month of April 2011.

Alexis Åkesson
Editor at HedgeFonder.nu
Tel: +46 76 212 0523
www.hedgefonder.nu

New Catella Hedge Funds Show 100% Positive Months Since Launch


Stockholm (HedgeFonder.nu)- Nordic hedge fund manager Catella Capital recently launched two hedge funds, the Nordic Fixed Income Opportunity fund and the Nordic Long Short Equity fund. The funds were timed to launch at the start of 2011.

"The Nordic market offers attractive fundamentals and the investable universe is well diversified over sectors and in terms of regional exposure. Nordic companies represent investor-friendly equities and are traded on secure and mature venues under transparent and well-regulated markets."

Catella's Nordic Fixed Income Opportunity Fund has already raised 220 million SEK primarily from foundations, private banking, wealth management and smaller institutions. It stands at +2.8%

Catella's Nordic Long Short Equity Fund raised 80 million SEK since launch. It's long holdings include Golar, Trelleborg, Statoil and the short holdings include Northland Resources, Sca, and Talvivaara.

Catella manages nearly €1.7 billion (15.21 billion SEK) distributed over 19 funds in more than 150 managed accounts. All together, Catella has brought to the market four new Nordic UCITS III hedge funds,two Newcits, one long only and one mixed fund.

The new funds are authorized to be marketed and sold in Sweden to private investors and already have 15 distributors. The investable universe primarily consists of equities listed on the Nordic exchanges. Catella Capital is owned by Catella AB.

Alexis Åkesson
Editor at HedgeFonder.nu
Tel: +46 76 212 0523
www.hedgefonder.nu

5 May 2011

Best Fund of Hedge Funds Newcomer: Merrant Alpha Select Fund


HedgeFonder.nu - The Merrant Alpha Select Fund, a fund of hedge funds run by Independent Swedish investment management firm Merrant, has been nominated for a HFMWeek 2011 award as "Best Fund of Hedge Funds Newcomer".

"It’s very satisfying to see that it’s the third time within the last six months that Merrant’s market neutral strategy is validated as one of the leaders in the hedge fund Industry." Co-founders Ulf Sedig & Rolf Hagekrans said of the nomination.

Merrant Alpha Select was in 2010 named "Best New Fund of Hedge Funds in Europe" by Hedge Fund Review and nominated for the "Best New Fund of Hedge Funds" by InvestHedge.

Merrant Alpha Select's USD-class returned +0.61% and it's SEK-class was up 1.01% during March 2011. The HFRI Fund of Fund index returned -0.11%.

The fifth annual HFMWeek Awards will be held in London on May 26, 2011. The event celebrates hedge funds and funds of hedge funds that outperformed their peers through the volatility of the last year. Award categories covered a wide range of strategies. The full shortlist can be accessed here.

Alexis Åkesson
Editor for Nordic Business Media AB
www.hedgefonder.nu
·

3 May 2011

Hedge Fund Event Keynote Speakers: George W Bush, Gordon Brown, Collin Powell

HedgeCo News - The SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference, which will convene 1,500 participants including global leaders, capital allocators and hedge fund managers at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas May 11 to 13, 2011, has sold out, according to the $7.78 billion global alternative investment firm, SkyBridge.

Keynote speakers for the conference include former President George W. Bush, Colin Powell and former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Gordon Brown.

Among other notable additions to the agenda are Steven A. Cohen, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P.; Jon S. Corzine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, MF Global Holdings Ltd.; David Axelrod, Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama (2009-2011); Michael Milken, Co-Founder, Milken Family Foundation & Chairman, The Milken Institute; and Rex Ryan, Head Coach, New York Jets.

"We are excited to gather some of the world's most influential public policy makers with top thought leaders of the investment community to share experiences, ideas and takeaway solutions for navigating the ever-evolving regulatory and economic environment," said Victor Oviedo, partner of SkyBridge and director of SALT.

CNBC, the exclusive broadcast media partner, will broadcast live from the Conference, which will also feature Christopher J. Dodd Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (2007-2010); Ken Griffin, Founder & CEO of Citadel; Jane Buchan, CEO, Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO); John Burbank, Founder, Passport Capital LLC; Jamie Dinan, Founder, Chairman, & CEO, York Capital Management; Izzy Englander, Founder, Millennium Partners; Dan Loeb , Founder, Third Point LLC; and Marc Lasry, Chairman, CEO & Co Founder, Avenue Capital Group.

27 Apr 2011

9th Annual Midwest Benefit for Hedge Funds Care


HedgeCo News - Midwestern hedge fund managers and other alternative investment industry members will be meeting for the 9th Annual Midwest Open Your Heart to the Children Benefit on May 19th in Chicago, Illinois.

In support of Hedge Funds Care, a global non-profit organization that works to prevent and treat child abuse, the gala will be held at the new JW Marriot in Chicago (151 West Adams St., Chicago, IL) from 5:30pm until 10:00pm CST.

In addition to this year’s reception, there will be a ceremony held at 7:00pm followed by a high profile live auction featuring items such as the privilege of throwing a ceremonial pitch at Wrigley Field along with 4 box seats to the game and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris in a luxurious Gulfstream 450 and a private apartment.

Additionally, The Kelly Lively Memorial Award, given in recognition of outstanding commitment to Hedge Funds Care and the prevention of child abuse and neglect, will be presented to Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. The Co-chairs for the event are Amy Rosenow, Chief Operating Officer of Sheffield Asset Management, LLCand Jennifer Edgcomb, Vice President GEM Realty Capital, Inc. Attendees will include hedge fund investors, service providers and senior professionals, including some of the most recognized and respected investment managers in the industry.

“Thanks to the plentiful help and support of the Midwest alternative investment industry, the Chicago benefit is in its 9th and what we hope to be its most successful year. We call on our colleagues in the financial services industry to help us set a new annual fundraising record as every little bit can make a difference in the lives of these children,” said Jennifer Edgcomb, Vice President GEM Realty Capital, Inc.

“Hedge Funds Care has been steadfast in pursuing our vital mission since the charity was founded: working to raise and invest funds for best-of-breed programs to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.” stated Amy Rosenow, Chief Operating Officer of Sheffield Asset Management, LLC. “It is wonderful that the hedge fund industry can work together to show the world the power of targeted philanthropy in helping these children who are so much in need.”

Since its inaugural grant-making cycle in 2003, the Midwest Chapter has made 121 grants totaling in excess of $4,200,000. The ongoing commitment of hedge fund industry professionals and investors, Hedge Funds Care looks forward to continuing to support existing grantees while also expanding support to new programs.

The Midwest Committee of Hearts is co-chaired by Ron Suber, Senior Partner of Merlin Securities, and Benji Wolken, Partner at Ernst & Young LLP.

Activist Hedge Fund Challenges Board At Fisher Communications

HedgeCo News - FrontFour Master Fund, Ltd., an affiliate of hedge fund investor FrontFour Capital Group LLC., has written a letter to the stockholders of Fisher Communications, Inc., criticizing the current board of directors and nominating new candidates. Fisher's stock has recently declined by 48%, representing a total stockholder loss of $173 million.

"FrontFour is compelled to run this election contest because after having one representative on the Board for two years, we were unable to get the Board to take the necessary steps to improve stockholder value." the activist hedge fund investor, who is also a long-term stockholder of Fisher, said in the letter, "We are seeking your support to elect highly qualified candidates to the Board of Directors of Fisher at its 2011 Annual Meeting of Stockholders."

FrontFour has nominated John F. Powers, Joseph J. Troy, Matthew Goldfarb and Stephen Loukas as qualified director candidates.

"If elected, our nominees will seek to have the Board carry out an operational and strategic analysis of all alternatives to maximize stockholder value, including ways to monetize Fisher Plaza." FrontFour concluded.

26 Apr 2011

The Long Odds of an Acquittal for Raj Rajaratnam

HedgeCo News - After nearly seven weeks of testimony, the high-stakes insider trading trial of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam has been handed to a federal jury in New York's Southern District.

Although there was no conclusion on the first day of deliberation, some are quick to tally the long odds of an acquittal for Rajaratnam, who faces serious prison time for the 14 criminal counts against him.

"This case has been an exceptionally strong prosecution - with wiretap evidence, including straightforward evidence of a defendant discussing trades based on insider information - and it has presented no technical elements that are beyond the grasp of a jury," former federal prosecutor and Congressman Artur Davis said. "A failure to convict or a muddled verdict like the one coming out the recent Barry Bonds steroids trial, would be a devastating blow to the prosecution."

Davis is now a partner in the white collar and government investigations practice at SNR Denton and a one-time member of the House Judiciary Committee.

A clear conviction, Davis believes, "will galvanize the government to duplicate the aggressive tactics used in the Galleon investigation. Investigations of high-dollar insider trading and other financial crimes will more and more resemble those in narcotics or public corruption cases, with wiretaps, extensive use of informants and even daring sting operations."

Davis acknowledges that the government's aggressive use of wiretap recordings - a tactic that is showing up in other Wall Street cases - may invite appellate scrutiny of electronic surveillance in insider trading cases. "In the Galleon example," he notes, "prosecutors got around the problem that the wiretap statute does not explicitly spell out securities fraud as a predicate crime by relying on case law that does allow wiretaps for general wire fraud cases. Still, the maneuver may draw closer attention from judges in future cases."

In broader context, Davis sounds a note of caution. "The Galleon investigation arguably tells us little about how judges and prosecutors are interpreting insider trading laws themselves," he notes. "For all the drama and publicity surrounding the trial, the legal basis of the Rajaratnam case is a garden variety claim that does not test novel or unlitigated theories of insider trading liability. That's a big contrast with, for instance, the Martha Stewart case, or other cases involving spousal sources of information and the definition of what constitutes confidential relationships under securities fraud laws."

Among the jurors are a former Israeli Defense Forces volunteer, a food services employee with the NY board of education, a city transportation agency worker, a graphic designer, an instructor for the blind, a retired bookkeeper and a nurse.