Hedgemedia's AltInvestment Global News Round-Up: Pennsylvania pension fund plumps for property

The Pennsylvania teachers' state pension fund plans to invest USD1.8bn in alternatives. It expects to deploy USD682m in four property funds: Five Arrows Realty Securities, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers and Macquarie Global Property Advisors. Debt-fund Centerline Real Estate will see its allocation doubled to USD178.5m.

Private equity fund New York Life Capital Partners will get USD200m. Oaktree Capital Management may get a GBP350m allocation for a loans fund. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania scheme wants to withdraw investments from Mellon Equity Associates, Wellington Management Company, Boston Company and Brown Brothers Harriman.

The US affiliate of Swiss hedge fund outfit EIM will work with Tokyo-based Daiwa to develop a series of funds of funds for the Japanese market. EIM, which was established by Arpad Busson in 1992 and currently manages USD12bn, hopes to start bringing these products to the market later this year. EIM USA runs assets of USD1bn.

Another mortgage credit casualty
Ellington Capital Management has joined the growing list of troubled hedge funds to suspend redemptions and withdrawals in two of its mortgage-credit funds because of a slump in liquidity of certain mortgage- and asset-backed markets. The funds together run USD1.9bn of assets out of Ellington's total of USD5.2bn under management.

JC Flowers is the target of a suit filed by student lender SLM Corporation, which calls for the buyout group to either close its pre-announced USD60 a share all-cash acquisition bid or pay a USD900m break-up fee. The suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, alleges that JC Flowers and co-bidders Bank of America and JPMorgan are flouting the terms of the transaction by attempting to withdraw or renegotiate. JC Flowers now wants to pay USD50 a share in cash and warrants.

Two beleaguered Cayman Islands-domiciled hedge funds of Bear Stearns were denied their request to be given Chapter 15 status under the Bankruptcy Code, which governs cross-border liquidations.

The bank, meanwhile, has hired Shilpa Amin and Olivier Mathys as managing directors in Europe. Amin previously worked for Nomura and is now working to build an Ucits III cross-border funds platform. Mathys counts JPMorgan and Dresdner Kleinwort among his former employers and is now handling certificates sales in Switzerland.

Investors shrug off hedge fund losses
Investors continued to plough money into hedge funds during August, shrugging off losses posted by funds due to the credit-market meltdown. Nearly USD9bn in net inflows were recorded in August, albeit down from USD16.8bn in July, according to Hedge Fund Research.

American Capital Strategies, which is itself a private equity investor as well as managing third-party funds, has raised USD585m for American Capital Equity II. AIG Investments, Landmark Partners, Paul Capital Partners, Lehman Brothers Secondary Opportunities Fund and SVG Advisers are among its investors. The firm now manages six funds with about USD5.3bn of assets. American Capital is the largest US publicly-listed private equity fund.

US private equity firms may be spared a mooted tax hike this year. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is believed to have informed private equity firms that the Senate was not likely to pass legislation raising taxes on the sector this year. Changes are also unlikely next year since Congress typically shies away from increasing taxes during an election year.

Robin Osmond, who led JPMorgan's European equity capital markets for corporations, left his post last month only after a year.

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