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Hedgemedia’s AltInvestment Global News Round-Up: Morgan Stanley takes seventh hedge fund manager stake

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Morgan Stanley has bought a minority stake in London hedge fund manager Hawker Capital.

Morgan Stanley has bought a minority stake in London hedge fund manager Hawker Capital. Established by Oliver Hawkins and Tim Sanger, formerly of Rubicon Fund Management, Hawker trades equities and commodities. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is Morgan Stanley’s seventh hedge fund manager investment after Brookville Capital Partners, Lansdowne Partners, Avenue Capital Management, Front Point Partners, Oxhead Capital Management and Traxis Partners.

Dermot Keane’s London-based Plexus Partners, which runs USD1.4bn, has lost 35 per cent of its assets under management due to ill-timed ‘basis trade’ bets seeking to exploit arbitrage between prices of derivatives and their underlying corporate credit.

Meanwhile, Polygon, a USD8bn hedge fund manager in London that is facing redemption requests, is setting up a new share class that will not have any gate provisions, co-founder Paddy Dear told investors. Its current terms have a so-called ‘stacked gate’, which limits redemptions in any particular period.

D.B. Zwirn & Co, led by Daniel Zwirn, is examining plans to launch a new fund, ZLC Global Investments, despite a wave of troubles facing the six-year-old New York firm, which is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The mooted new fund would focus on companies facing difficulty in  obtaining finance from other sources.

After investors sought to redeem USD2bn from its Special Opportunities Fund and an offshore counterpart, the firm said it would liquidate the USD4.2bn funds, leaving the firm with USD1bn in assets. Some reports have suggested investors may have to wait as long as four years to get all their money back because of the difficulty of realising illiquid assets. However, D.B. Zwirn says it compulsorily redeemed all investors in the two funds to make sure all were treated fairly, and the vast majority of investors had initially chosen private equity-style roll-off.

Bear Stearns Asset Management’s head of systematic equities James O’Shaughnessy has set sail with his own firm, O’Shaughnessy Asset Management. O’Shaughnessy, who was responsible for boosting assets from USD1bn in 2001 to USD9bn last year, has taken along 14 of the 30 Bear staffers and the assets he oversaw. Bear has struck a fee-sharing arrangement with him, details of which were not disclosed. O’Shaughnessy’s spin-out has been planned since last summer.

Several former Wachovia Securities investment managers have set up a traditional fund management business with the backing of private equity firm Robert W Baird and Private Advisors, which focuses on funds of hedge and private equity funds. Riverfront Investment Group will provide separate account portfolios and analysis to financial advisors and their clients. Michael Jones is its investment chief.

Merlin Securities has hired as a senior partner Ron Suber, formerly a senior managing director at Bear Stearns where he worked for 14 years. Most recently, he spent 20 months working at fund administrator Spectrum Global in Chicago. He now heads global prime brokerage sales and marketing, reporting to the firm’s co-founder Stephan Vermut, and is also a member of Merlin’s executive board.

Daniel Loeb’s Third Point has acquired a 7.1 per cent stake in Maguire Properties in Los Angeles after the real estate investment trust said it was not pursuing a potential sale. Third Point will now take an active interest in the company, which has been reviewing strategic alternatives but couldn’t line up a deal amid the current credit market woes.

DLJ South American Partners, a joint venture between Credit Suisse’s alternative investments business and a team of South American managers, has raised USD300m to invest mainly in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The fund has already made three investments.

Exchange-traded fund assets fell USD9.41bn, or 1.7 per cent, to USD559.31bn in February, according to the Investment Company Institute, following an increase of USD125.91bn, or 29.1 per cent, in January.

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