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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 ( - 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

18 May 2011

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

Stockholm ( - 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 ("

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 ( - 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
Tel: +46 76 212 0523

New Catella Hedge Funds Show 100% Positive Months Since Launch

Stockholm ( 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
Tel: +46 76 212 0523

5 May 2011

Best Fund of Hedge Funds Newcomer: Merrant Alpha Select Fund - 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

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.