Hedgemedia's AltInvestment Global News Round-Up: Former Blackstone executive McCabe launches Lasair Capital with GE backing

Carrie McCabe, one of the most prominent women in the hedge fund world, is launching a new investment firm with the backing of General Electric. McCabe, who has worked as chief executive of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management and FRM Americas, is assembling Lasair Capital, which will invest in funds of funds and timber and infrastructure assets.

Tanya Beder, former head of Citigroup's now-defunct hedge fund arm Tribeca Global Management, and John Myers, chairman of AG Asset Management and previously head of GE Asset Management, are advising McCabe. Frank Caccio, formerly of Tiger Management and Highbridge Capital, is coming on board as operating chief, while Aaron Kilberg, formerly of Kern Capital and Neuberger Berman, is head of relationship management.

A private equity fund run by Goldman Sachs has bought 19.99 per cent of Capula Investment Management, a USD3bn London hedge fund. This is the second big stake in a fast-growing hedge fund for the Petershill fund, run by Jonathan Sorrell. The fund also owns 10 per cent of David Harding's Winton Capital. Chinese trader Yan Huo and UFJ International alumnus Masao Asia established Capula three years ago to focus on fixed-income investments.
 
The President's Working Group on Financial Markets expects to make its recommendations for sound hedge fund practices available for public comment some time this quarter. The group will focus on disclosure, valuation, risk management, trading and business operations, according to Marcy Engel, chief operating officer and general counsel at Eton Park Capital Management, whose chief executive, Eric Mindich, chairs the committee.

Assets in funds of hedge funds rose 30 per cent to USD1.3trn last year, about half of total hedge funds assets under management, according to InvestHedge. The latest rate of growth was slightly higher than that in 2006 and twice as high as in 2005 but slower than in 2004, when assets grew a record 44 per cent.

Hedge funds and private equity firms are backing Democrats at a faster pace than Republicans in this year's US presidential race - despite the (ultimately unsuccessful) campaign by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who founded private equity firm Bain Capital in 1984.

Donations by alternative investment groups totalled USD6.4m, of which 59.7 per cent went to Democrats. New York Senator Hilary Clinton received USD1,266,342, while Illinois Senator Barack Obama took in USD1,040,185.

GSO Capital, the USD10bn hedge fund manager bought by Blackstone Group last month, has hired Najib Canaan from Brevan Howard, where he was head of asset-backed securities. Canaan is a former colleague of GSO's co-founders.

Commodities hedge fund manager Touradji Capital Management has recruited Mark Lyons for its new Singapore office as a shipping and oil specialist. Lyons, who counts Chevron, RWE Trading and Navig8 among his former employers, will be responsible for developing the Asian business of the USD3bn firm founded by Tiger Management cub Paul Touradji.

Graham Goldsmith, the former head of corporate principal investments at Merrill Lynch, has joined Victor Khosla's Strategic Value Partners in a role yet to be revealed. Khosla was the co-head of the distressed products group at Merrill Lynch for five years up to 1998.

Specialist investment bank Keefe, Bruyette and Woods has installed Frederick Cannon in the newly created role of chief equity strategist. Cannon has worked at KBW for eight years and will now focus on identifying and analysing trends in financial services.

Bank of New York Mellon has hired Kate Colchester as vice-president of Asian sales for its alternative investment services group. Colchester, who was previously at research and consulting firm Eurekahedge, will work out of Singapore and report to Andrew Gordon, executive vice-president of broker-dealer services and alternative investment services.

Endowment Capital of Philadelphia has hired Christopher Long as chief executive from Friess Associates, a USD17bn traditional asset manager. Founder Philip Timon moves across to become Endowment's investment chief and portfolio manager.

BNP Paribas has tapped Christian Roch for the new position as head of strategy and corporate development for equities and derivatives in the Americas. Roch has been at the bank for 15 years.

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