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Hedgeweek Comment: Fink makes a comeback

A few weeks ago, when Stanley Fink stepped down as deputy chairman of Man Group just over a year after assuming the non-executive role, it was speculated that he might make a return to hedge fund investment. This was in part because he owns 9.5 million shares of Man Group, worth GBP58m, and once you are personally involved it is hard to get out of the game.

And now Fink is back. The so-called godfather of the UK hedge fund industry has made a dramatic return, having been appointed chief executive of International Standard Asset Management, an alternative asset manager with some GBP200m under management. The firm has also appointed former Labour Party fundraiser Lord Levy as chairman.

According to International Standard, Fink will take responsibility for the operational management of the business, while both he and Levy will use their extensive network of wealthy contacts to boost the firm's assets under management. The International Standard Gold Fund was launched by former Merrill Lynch gold trader Roy Sher, a friend of Fink, in 2003, and is mainly backed by private investors.

Fink's announcement came at a somewhat inauspicious time, with Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch being bought by Bank of America. But surely such a seasoned  hedge fund veteran won't take this as an augury of things to come.

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