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Morley accelerates alternatives strategy with ORN Capital stake

The UK's Morley Fund Management (Morley) has taken a 56 per cent  stake in USD 600 million AuM hedge fund management company ORN Capital.

The move accelerates the Morley's alternatives strategy and broadens its range of absolute return products. Founded in 1999, ORN Capital is a hedge fund management company, which pursues a broad range of investment strategies and manages in excess of USD 600 million as at 1 April 2006. The deal materially increases Morley's presence in this market by more than doubling alternative funds under management from around USD 500 million to USD 1.1billion.

James Tanner, Morley Fund Management's Managing Director responsible for Distribution and Alternatives, said: 'This acquisition broadens Morley's offering to clients and more than doubles the size of our hedge fund business. We have a good range of alternative products but this deal accelerates our growth in that area. Demand for absolute returns is increasing and together this move enables Morley and ORN Capital to more quickly respond to what our clients want with a wider-range of single strategy and multi-strategy hedge funds'.

'This is a partnership which brings together our scale and reputation as a leading European fund manager with ORN Capital's talented team and track record.  Over the past seven years, ORN Capital has developed from an entrepreneurial start up into a full service, multi strategy alternatives investment manager.  Looking forward it is important that the boutique culture which has helped ORN Capital to flourish be maintained whilst collectively we design and grow products for a much wider institutional client base.'
Morley has GBP 156.2 billion in funds under management, including GBP 25.95 billion in property and now GBP 1.53 billion in private equity and hedge funds.
Harald Örneberg, chairman and founder, ORN Capital, said: 'Institutional investors are increasingly demanding both high alpha products and the safety of an institutional framework. Together with Morley, we can offer clients our strong and independent boutique investment returns supported by the resources and stability of a respected institutional partner. An important part of this partnership is Morley's support in genuinely maintaining ORN Capital as a stand-alone business.'
ORN Capital adds four funds (event, distressed debt, debt equity and global resources and energy) and a multi-strategy fund to Morley's existing offering. ORN Capital will be run as a stand-alone business, based in its existing premises in London's West End.
Completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Financial Services Authority in London and the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The deal is expected to complete no later than the end of June 2006.
Based in London and headquartered in Bermuda, ORN Capital is an alternative investment management firm founded in 1999. ORN Capital manages in excess of USD 600 million on behalf of a wide range of institutional investors including foundations, pension funds, funds-of-funds, private banks and family offices.

The firm has grown steadily over the past seven years and pursues a broad range of investment strategies including event, distressed debt, debt equity, global resources and energy and multi-strategy.

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