Hedgemedia's AltInvestment Global News Round-Up: Hedge fund launches thin as investors look to track records

Hedge fund launches are slowing down - the number of new funds starting out will drop by some 20 per cent this year compared with 2006, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research. The firm says that investors spooked by the recent hedge fund shakeout linked largely to the upheaval in credit markets are now demanding longer track records before providing capital.

US industry trade group, the Washington-based Managed Funds Association, is advocating tougher internal rules for valuing securities and preventing insider trading while disclosing more investment risks to investors. One of the recommendations in its latest 276-page report, Sound Practices for Hedge Fund Managers, which has become a hot-button item in the wake of the recent sub-prime meltdown, is that hedge fund managers must reconcile value of illiquid securities with multiple outside sources.

Global alternative investments firm Investcorp has teamed up with a credit specialist based in Florham Park, New Jersey. Investcorp, which manages USD13bn, will invest with Washington Corner Capital Management while also providing it with infrastructure and oversight. Ed Banks, who previously worked as investment chief of Huff Alternative Fund at WR Huff, established Washington Corner together with fellow WR Huff veterans Matt Swope and Michael Fisher.

Former Citi duo look to take manager stakes
Details are emerging of former Citigroup executives Dean Barr and Michael Carpenter. Carpenter has established Southgate Alternative Investment Strategies and has tapped Barr as his lieutenant in the New York business. The duo plans to take minority stakes in at least 10 managers. Carpenter was Citigroup's alternative investments head until May 2006, while Barr led its hedge fund platform until April this year.

Citigroup has tapped Richard Stuckey to lead its newly created sub-prime portfolio group. Stuckey earned his stripes for his role as the bank's representative on the oversight committee created in October 1998 to salvage beleaguered hedge fund Long Term Capital Management. Stuckey most recently held a senior role within Citigroup's fixed-income, currencies and commodities division. Citigroup is reeling from tens of billions of dollars in write-downs and losses related to sub-prime mortgages. Richard Rubin announced the creation of the unit when he became chairman following the resignation of chief executive Chuck Prince.

A shareholder vote to oust Bear Stearns as a controlling party of its High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund was postponed by around 10 days to November 16 ostensibly because a number of limited partners may not have been notified of the previous vote.

Investors will vote on whether to install FTI Capital Advisers to assume oversight of the troubled fund, which has lost effectively all of its value due to troubled investments in collateralised debt obligations. Meanwhile, Bear Stearns said it was winding up its feeder fund and named KPMG's Cayman Islands outpost as voluntary liquidators, thwarting attempts by investor to replace Bear at another vote in London.

Parker opens international offices
Stamford, Connecticut-based fund-of-funds operator Parker Global has established operations in Tokyo and Sao Paulo. It has hired Akira Adachi from Fortis to spearhead its Japanese operation, while John Taylor, who has worked researching hedge fund and private equity managers, will head its Brazilian office.

Carlyle Group exceeded its USD1bn target by raising USD1.5bn for its first infrastructure fund, while Palo Alto, California-based Technology Crossover Ventures amassed USD3bn in its first and final closing of its seventh venture capital fund.

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