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Liberty Ermitage seeds Volteq Capital fund with Euro 24 million

The Liberty Ermitage Group has formed a strategic alliance with Volteq Capital
B.V., the Amsterdam-based volatility arbitrage hedge fund manager.

Volteq Capital B.V. is the latest single manager in which the Eurocentric seeding
vehicle of Liberty Ermitage Group, The Strategic Partners Fund, Inc. (SPF) has
made an investment.

Volteq Capital's first fund is the Cayman-domiciled GED Arbitrage Fund Limited,
a volatility arbitrage fund, which launched on 16 February 2004 with over USD 35
million in assets under management. The GED Arbitrage Fund Limited is to be
listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Ian Cadby, Chief Investment Officer of Liberty Ermitage, said: "We are extremely
excited about this new venture, Jonathan Wauton (Director, Strategic
Investments, Liberty Ermitage), Mark Hucker (Chief Operating Officer, Liberty
Ermitage) and I have spent considerable time performing the due diligence on
this team, and consider them to be a high calibre operation, with an excellent
approach to extracting Alpha from market volatility.  This confidence is
demonstrated by the fact that SPF has seeded the GED Arbitrage Fund Limited
with Euro 24 million."

Cadby added: "We expect this fund to be well received by hedge fund investors,
not least because the returns are expected to have a low correlation with global
equity and bond markets and many other popular hedge fund strategies.  There
are few European-based volatility arbitrage managers and this product should,
therefore, provide a welcome relief to those investors who are concerned about
strategy concentration risk in constructing their portfolio."

Volteq Capital B.V. was founded by Jan Ebel Bos, Hans Peter van Ketwich
Verschuur and Eelco Rooimans. The four founding partners are assisted by Niek
Koster (Partner Risk Management and Trading) and Daniel Notermans (Chief
Financial and Operating Officer).

Volteq Capital treats volatility as a tradable asset and aims to make returns
regardless of market conditions through a disciplined trading approach. The
managers believe that the often complex inter-relationships between listed and
over-the-counter option markets, special product markets, convertible and
warrant markets and credit (derivative) markets provide ample opportunities to
exploit pricing inefficiencies. The fund will trade equity volatility curves, skews
and pairs, dispersion strategies, convertibles and warrants, as well as structured

The four partners of Volteq Capital have worked together at ABN AMRO Bank in
Amsterdam, London and New York for a period ranging from 4 to 9 years. Hans
Peter van Ketwich (Partner Risk Management and Trading) has been in the
equity derivatives business since 1989, setting up and managing the equity
derivatives businesses for ABN AMRO Bank, Rabo Securities and Fortis Bank

Eelco Rooimans (Partner Risk Management and Trading) and Niek Koster
started in 1992 as options market makers on the European Options Exchange. In
1994 they both moved to the equity derivatives department of ABN AMRO Bank,
where Eelco Rooimans was subsequently appointed global head of equity
derivatives trading in 1997.

Niek Koster traded German, Swiss and US equity derivatives and was appointed
head of US equity derivatives trading in 2001. Jan Ebel Bos (Partner Marketing
and Quantitative Analysis) joined the equity derivatives department of ABN
AMRO Bank in 1992 where he has been responsible for marketing, sales and
structuring of global equity derivative products. Daniel Notermans joined Volteq
Capital in August 2003 from ABP, where he worked as corporate investment
controller and quality manager in the equities and fixed income departments.

Jan Ebel Bos said: "We believe that our approach to volatility arbitrage is slightly
different from some of our competitors in that we run a long/short volatility
portfolio instead of a long only volatility portfolio. We aim to generate absolute
returns largely uncorrelated with equity or bond markets, instead of returns which
are negatively correlated to equity markets."

Given the strong projected demand for this product, the investment team is
currently planning a 'soft close' at circa USD 250 million.

Background Note: Liberty Ermitage Group (LEG) has over USD 3.2 billion
under management with approximately USD 1.5 billion in Hedge Funds, USD 1.1
billion in traditional equity and bond funds and USD 600m in money funds. 

LEG is a leading edge asset management business whose disciplined approach
encompasses rigorous analysis at the macro and strategy levels.  This top down
approach is complemented by bottom up manager evaluation with emphasis on
extensive qualitative and forensic analysis.  LEG tracks over 4,000 hedge funds
with an investment team of 17 including three former hedge fund managers /
traders, and boasts one of the largest and most experienced research engines in
the hedge fund industry.

LEG is owned by Liberty Group, the third largest Life Assuror in South Africa,
which in turn is part of the Standard Bank Group with combined assets under
management of USD 45 billion and aggregate market capitalisation of USD 6

LEG offers five core services:

* Single manager hedge fund programme;
* Funds of hedge funds- both own product and white labelling for Institutions
LEG's capability;
* Traditional funds - Gold & Resources, AAAm rated Money funds, Equities
and Bonds;
* Global Wealth Management Services; and
* Specialist Fund Administration

LEG is headquartered in Jersey, Channel Islands and has operations in
Bermuda, Luxembourg, London and New York.


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