Asset Alliance gets in early with Eastern European fund of funds

Asset Alliance Corporation launched what may be the first fund of hedge funds (FoHF) dedicated to managers that invest in Central and Eastern Europe.

The multi-strategy fund-of-funds will initially invest in 15-20 managers across a variety of strategies. “It is exciting to be first to market in a region that has so much potential and offers so many attractive investment opportunities,” said James Parker, managing director of Asset Alliance International. At the request of investors, Asset Alliance International began researching the Eastern European hedge fund universe at the beginning of 2005 and has been monitoring 90% of relevant funds in the space, which Parker believes currently number around 100. Parker believes Asset Alliance has secured an early mover advantage that will mitigate against the possibility of capacity constraints in the nascent Eastern European hedge fund universe, which he values at around $250m. The fund was seeded with $10m and Parker expects the fund to grow into and alongside the capacity of its underlying funds.A team of six analysts in London and New York will perform due diligence on, and monitor managers. Portfolio construction is driven by the firm’s investment committee headed by Bruce Lipnick, President and CEO, and Barry Wintner, director of research at Asset Alliance. The fund’s London analyst is Daniel Axmer.According to Asset Alliance International, the economies of Central and Eastern Europe are in growth phase due to:•Higher oil prices leading to increased revenues in Russia•Economic convergence with Eastern bloc countries joining the European Union•Entry to the WTO for Russia and the Ukraine•Increasing liquidity across markets due to a growing number of IPOs.London-based Asset Alliance International, Ltd. was founded in 1999 and expands Asset Alliance Corporation’s global presence through manager research, joint ventures and the development and distribution of specialised products throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Asset Alliance Corporation, founded in 1996 and headquartered in New York, is a privately held company that assists and invests in diversified alternative asset-management firms, and provides specialised alternative investment products and services to institutions and high-net-worth individuals.

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