BNP Paribas is to fund London Business School's Centre for Hedge Fund Research and Education for three academic years up to September 2008.
This is the first time that BNP Paribas has funded a major initiative at London Business School.
The centre will be renamed the BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre and will continue to be led under the academic direction of Dr Narayan Naik, Associate Professor of Finance at London Business School. An Advisory Board to oversee the Centre's continuing development has been formed under the chairmanship of Patrick Fauchier, Chief Executive of Fauchier Partners.
The Centre for Hedge Fund Research and Education was established at London Business School in September 2001 with the objective to become the leading academic authority and focal point for teaching in the hedge fund arena in Europe.
Since its establishment, the Centre has run seminars with hedge fund themes, has acted as a forum for industry participants and academics to meet and has sponsored events for both practitioners and academic researchers to present their findings. In addition more than three hundred investment professionals and students have benefited from the Centre's electives and short courses.
Over the last four years the Centre has conducted research into the nature of risks taken by hedge funds in their trading strategies, a topic of particular interest to regulators as well as to potential investors. Among other topics, it has also investigated the relationship between the ability of funds to attract new money on the one hand, and relative performance, incentive fees, fund size and age, and capacity constraints on the other.
Through its support of the Centre, the BNP Paribas group intends to be at the forefront of research into hedge funds. BNP Paribas Asset Management, BNP Paribas Securities Services, BNP Paribas Private Banking, BNP Paribas Fixed Interest and BNP Paribas Equities and Derivatives will all be involved in the BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre, together with Fauchier Partners, the London-based fund of hedge funds firm in which BNP Paribas has a 50 per cent economic interest.
"BNP Paribas already enjoys close ties with London Business School, both as a place of education for our employees and recruitment for the bank," says Pascal Boris, CEO of BNP Paribas in the UK. "This new agreement will further reinforce the relationship between BNP Paribas, a leading global bank with a strong UK franchise, and one of the world's leading business schools."
Fauchier adds: "There is no doubt that hedge funds have become increasingly important as investments over the last few years. It is crucial that all of us gain a greater understanding of how they operate and affect markets. We are particularly pleased that the BNP Paribas group, which is involved in many aspects of hedge funds, has agreed to sponsor the next stage of the development of the Hedge Fund Centre."
Laura Tyson, Dean of London Business School, says: "The BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre at London Business School will bring together academic theory and real life practice in this burgeoning sector of finance. As hedge funds evolve, it is important to ensure that there is a dynamic interface between intellectual thought and industry practice. Through the support of BNP Paribas, London Business School will continue to host the leading Centre for research into hedge funds."
Background notes: London Business School's Vision is to be the pre-eminent global business school, nurturing talent and advancing knowledge in a multi-national, multicultural environment. Founded in 1965, the School graduated over 800 MBAs, Executive MBAs, Masters in Finance, Sloan Fellows and PhDs from over 70 countries last year. The School's executive education department serves 6,000 executives and 60 corporate clients on its programmes every year.
London Business School is based in the most accessible and international city in the world and is one of only two UK business schools to have twice been awarded the highest research rating of five-star (5*), by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), confirming the School as a centre of world-class research in business and management.
The Centre for Hedge Fund Research and Education at London Business School was founded in September 2001. It aims to become the leading academic authority and focal point for new ideas on hedge funds in Europe.
The Centre encourages and incentivises research aimed at developing a greater understanding of all aspects of hedge funds including their trading strategies and the asset markets they invest in. Research is carried out both by members of the finance faculty at London Business School and by visiting researchers from Europe and the US. Working papers produced by the Centre are disseminated through its web site at: http://www.london.edu/hedgefunds/workingpapers.html 
The Centre supports work on a series of initiatives aimed at developing the coverage of hedge funds on London Business School's MBA and Masters in Finance courses and its Investment Management Evening Programme.
The Centre also runs a short executive education course designed for people already working in the hedge funds arena and focussing on the place of hedge funds in a prudent portfolio. Further details can be found at: http://www.london.edu/hedgefunds.html 
Fauchier Partners is a specialist London-based firm, which manages a wide variety of funds of hedge funds. It currently has approximately the equivalent of USD 4 billion under management
Fauchier Partners' clients include Academic Institutions, Banks, Charities, Insurance Companies, Pension Funds, Fund Management Groups and Family Offices. Fauchier Partners also advises a number of listed open-ended and closed-end 'funds of funds'.
Following a merger completed in late in 2004, BNP Paribas Asset Management acquired a 50 per cent economic interest in Fauchier Partners.