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Landmark Investors to open funds to outside investors on 1 July

Landmark Investors LLC, owned by Baron Advisors and the family office of Barry Diller and the von Furstenbergs, is opening two funds to outside investors.

Landmark Investors, an alternative asset management firm, revealed this week that it is opening two of its specialised internal products to outside investors on 1 July.

The Landmark Select Fund is a long-short value hedge fund that was developed as a portfolio of the "best ideas" of independent value managers, while Landmark Value Strategies Global is a specialised fund of hedge funds dedicated to value investing primarily outside of the US with an emphasis on developed markets in Western Europe and Asia.

While the sub-advisors are responsible for idea generation, research and trade execution, Landmark has ultimate control over inclusion and position weighting.

The Landmark Select Fund is structured as a single hedge fund portfolio with transparent sub-advisory accounts, rather than a fund of funds, and the underlying managers share the hedge fund fees with Landmark.

"In our experience evaluating hedge fund managers, we observed that most value funds are characterized by a limited number of rigorously researched, original investment ideas which contribute disproportionately to the manager's returns, with a number of secondary ideas added to achieve the diversification demanded by volatility conscious institutional investors," said Landmark Investors partner Ahmed Fattouh. "By pooling together only the best long and short ideas of independent managers, we believe that Landmark Select offers an appropriately diversified portfolio comprised solely of high conviction positions."

Landmark Select was launched in September 2003 and has been incubated with USD 20 million. The firm intends to initially accept up to USD 100 million from outside investors.

Landmark Value Strategies Global (LVSG) meanwhile, was launched in January 2005 and has been incubated with USD 30 million. The firm notes that its core, fund-of-funds has been invested with international value managers, including some of the managers that LVSG allocates to, since 2000.

"We believe that compelling value investment prospects exist in Asia and Western Europe, often due to the opportunities created by short term dislocations caused by trading oriented investors in those markets," says Landmark partner and director of research John Salib. "Increasingly, sophisticated management teams are enhancing shareholder value through share buybacks, spin-offs, and dividend policies, while escalating M&A and private equity activity may create floor valuations and act as catalysts for profitable realizations."

LVSG will allocate to a variety of value-oriented sub-strategies, which may include long-short value, event driven/special situations, shareholder activism, distressed, and sector specialists. As with its core product, LVSG seeks managers that tend to avoid the use of leverage and derivatives and will not employ leverage at the fund of funds level to enhance returns.

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