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Harcourt lnvestment Consulting launches seeding vehicle

 Harcourt Investment Consulting AG, the Zurich-based fund of hedge funds, today launches a seeding vehicle called Belmont Early Stage Ltd.

The vehicle will invest in and seed emerging and early stage European hedge funds. Harcourt, which manages in excess of US$1 billion, has a long history of investing in early stage hedge funds and will make Belmont Early Stage Ltd. a part of its overall strategy as an innovative solution provider to institutional investors.

Dr. Philipp Cottier, CEO of Harcourt, said: "In the past 5 years, we have invested successfully in more than 30 early stage hedge funds. The advantages for our investors are superior risk-adjusted returns, as young hedge managers are simply more driven to create excess returns against their larger and more established peers, as well as increased transparency and liquidity."

Commenting on the merits of early stage investing from a business perspective, Dr. Kurt Lambert, Founder and Vice Chairman of Harcourt, said: "A rapidly growing fund of hedge funds firm such as Harcourt must ensure future capacity with top international talent in order to allocate future asset growth. In that sense, an early stage investment allows for reservation of capacity, but also for improved transparency and better investment conditions with these funds. This is to the benefit of Harcourt as a business, and ultimately to the benefit of our investors."

Belmont Early Stage Ltd. will be launched today, 1 August 2003.  It will initially invest roughly 2/3 of its portfolio with early stage hedge funds and the remaining 1/3 will be used to seed start-up hedge funds. The majority of these hedge funds will be based in continental Europe, the Nordic countries and the UK.

Background Note: Harcourt Investment Consulting AG, Zurich is a leading provider of hedge fund solutions to institutional investors. Founded in 1997, the firm is headquartered in Zurich, with offices in Geneva, Stockholm and Bridgetown. With assets under management now in excess of US$1 billion, the firm has a staff of 24 experienced investment professionals.

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