Klatch Pleads Guilty, Standard Life Exits, CA Law, Fund Branding

Klatch Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors (ALBlog)

A Tampa, Fla., man has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors — including 4 from the Mobile area — out of millions of dollars. Anthony J. “A.J.” Klatch II served as senior managing partner and chief investment officer of a hedge fund called TASK Capital Partners, which solicited investors from local residents as well as people in Florida. Combined, they lost $2.3 million, according to his written plea agreement. Klatch pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison, although prosecutors agreed to recommend leniency in exchange for his cooperation with law enforcement officials. He also agreed to forfeit more than $2.3 million in assets, a backpack containing $25,000 in cash held by his attorney in a civil lawsuit, money or property in foreign bank accounts held by companies he controlled and any other money or property that represents the proceeds of fraudulent activities.

CA Law Could Help Encourage Investment in Emerging Hedge Funds (HedgeFundsReview)

A new California law could create greater opportunities for emerging hedge fund managers to win mandates from the state’s giant pension plans. California Senate Bill 294, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 9, requires California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (Calstrs) to create five-year plans for increasing emerging manager participation across all asset classes. The law passed with support from California’s pension plans, which already have dedicated programmes for emerging managers.
Mariner’s Galton Team Appoints Head of Servicing Oversight (PRNewswire)
Mariner Investment Group, LLC’s residential mortgage credit investment team Galton Capital Management recently announced the appointment of Tim Lynch as Head of Servicing Oversight for that unit. Mr. Lynch will augment the firm’s expertise in mortgage investing as it anticipates a new investment product offering. Mr. Lynch will oversee and manage all mortgage servicing activities related to this new product including servicer evaluation, selection and monitoring across all of that investment team’s activities. Mr. Lynch joins the Galton investment team with 25 years of mortgage industry experience, with a particular expertise in mortgage servicing. He held various senior servicing management roles at two of the largest U.S. servicers – Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Washington Mutual. Most recently, Mr. Lynch worked for Chase Home Finance as a Default Risk Portfolio Manager and later as Head of Liquidation Strategy in Chase’s Default Strategy department.
Agecroft Partners Says Hedge Fund Branding Drives Asset Flows (HedgeCo)
Since the market correction of 2008, a vast majority of hedge fund net asset flows have gone to a small minority of hedge funds with the strongest brands, marking a change from the pre-2008 environment. A brand is an investor’s perception of the overall quality of a hedge fund based on multiple evaluation factors that evolve over time. A high-quality brand takes a long time to develop, but once achieved, it significantly enhances a firm’s ability to raise capital and retain assets during a drawdown in performance. Branding is a critical issue for all hedge funds, because the marketplace has become increasingly competitive. Most agree that there are over 10,000 hedge funds in the market place. Hedge fund investors are inundated with requests for meetings, with some receiving hundreds of phone calls or e-mails per week from investment managers. To filter through the overload of information, investors are turning more and more to a firm’s brand when choosing which funds to meet and ultimately invest with.
Cole-Frieman & Mallon Hires Aisha Hunt (DigitalJournal)
Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, a leading boutique investment management law firm, is proud to announce the addition of Aisha Hunt as a Partner to head the firm’s growing Alternative Mutual Fund Practice in San Francisco. Ms. Hunt has represented some of the most prominent investment managers and mutual fund families in the United States, including the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and the Dodge & Cox Funds. By bringing on Ms. Hunt, the firm now offers clients a broader suite of investment management legal services, including a ’40 Act practice focused on alternative mutual funds. She has extensive legal experience counseling emerging and established investment managers to separate accounts, hedge funds, UCITS funds and mutual funds. Ms. Hunt holds a B.S. in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Standard Life Exits Funds of Hedge Funds (eFinancialNews)
Standard Life Investments plans to shut down the fund of funds boutique it acquired last year, after struggling to grow assets, illustrating the difficulties facing smaller managers in volatile market conditions. In March 2010, Edinburgh-based Standard Life announced it had taken a 75% stake in Aida Capital to expand its alternatives operations. At the time, the plan was to create a series of specialist funds for its new majority owner. At the time of acquisition, Aida managed $50m; a person familiar with the situation said that assets have dropped substantially since then. A spokesman for Standard Life said: “Following an internal review, and in light of current market conditions, it has been decided that it is no longer strategically viable to maintain a standalone fund of hedge funds operation.”
Ecofin Launches Long/Short Oil & Gas Fund (FINAlternatives)
UK-based Ecofin, an investment management firm specializing in the global utility, infrastructure, energy and alternative energy sectors, has launched the Ecofin Global Oil & Gas Fund. Registered in the Caymans, the new fund employs a long/short equity strategy, close to market-neutral; offers monthly liquidity; and launched with $32 million of AUM. Daniel Lacalle is the portfolio manager. The fund will invest mostly in mid- to large cap equities of super majors, integrated companies, exploration and production companies, refiners and service companies, on a global basis. Ecofin says this is an investment universe of more than 1,200 names worldwide which accounts for an estimated 30% of global equity market indices.