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Private equity firm takes strategic stake in hedge fund manager

Proctor Investment Managers, a private equity investor that specialises in providing capital, marketing and management solutions to investment management firms, has established a strategic partnership with Conquest Capital Group, a New York-based alternative asset manager that specialises in managed futures, long-volatility and beta replication strategies.

Proctor, which has a acquired a 17.5 per cent stake in Conquest, has now established seven such partnerships since its establishment with backing from National Bank Financial of Canada in January last year.

'We have been fortunate to have attracted a number of high-calibre affiliates, whose growth in assets under management - from USD4.7bn to more than USD8bn in 2007 alone - is a testament to the strength of their strategies and performance,' says James C. Coley II, Proctor's chairman and chief executive.

Conquest, which has around USD380m in assets under management and has already raised USD100m this year, has a strong quantitative team with expertise in the areas of volatility, CTA analysis, alternative beta and risk aversion. It launched the first successful managed futures index replication-based fund in 2004 and currently offers five investment vehicles, specialising in the trading of futures and global foreign exchange markets.

Under the agreement, Proctor will become the company's strategic sales and marketing partner, providing expert institutional and intermediary sales, marketing and client servicing. Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan, Proctor's president, will join Conquest's management committee.

'In addition to its successful history of providing alpha generating strategies to clients, Conquest Capital has been a pioneer in the replication of hedge fund strategies and the development of alternative beta products,' Kanaan says.

'With a reputation for ground-breaking research and development of proprietary quantitative models, Conquest has developed a broad array of differentiated investment strategies for investors seeking exposure to managed futures, foreign exchange or long-volatility. Conquest represents the innovation and growth potential we seek in an asset manager.

 'As we work to broaden our range of alternative investment products, this partnership marks our first investment into an alternative firm specialising in single strategies. Conquest's research in analysing the systematic sources of hedge fund returns has resulted in the firm developing transparent, investible products that replicate and economically capture hedge fund beta, complimenting their existing product line. We look forward to helping them accelerate that growth.'

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