CooperNeff Expanding Hedge Fund Operations

January 25, 2001 (—On the heels of creating a new hedge fund unit, CooperNeff is hoping its hedge fund seeds will grow this year.

The company, which is owned by BNP Paribas, Paris, plans to launch four new hedge funds for both the U.S. and European investors in the first half of this year and grow its hedge fund unit team to 30 people by midyear. A 22-member group has been handling CooperNeff’s hedge fund assets, before the official unit was established.

CooperNeff, based in King of Prussia, Pa., already has two onshore hedge funds it launched in the second half of last year.

One of the first moves toward its expansion was the acquisition of Chariot Investment Group, a Glastonbury, Conn.-based hedge fund firm. The purchase brings with it a new fund and a new portfolio manager, Daniel Patrick Martell.

Mr. Martell will continue to manage the Chariot Fund, a risk arbitrage strategy, when he joins the firm Feb. 1. The fund will also take on the CooperNeff name in February and will be offered publicly in June or July. Mr. Martell will be senior vice president and portfolio manager of the risk managed funds.

And other new funds are coming down the pike, according to Daniel O’Shaughnessy, managing director of the new risk managed funds group.

Next week, CooperNeff launches a European convertible bond fund. That fund will be managed similar to CooperNeff’s U.S. convertible strategy fund, which uses a proprietary investment model developed in-house.

Also in the works is a European version of the company’s flagship hedge fund, a U.S. equity market neutral fund holding long and short positions in the most liquid stocks. The launch is slated for May 2001.

“We felt we needed to have a global product line,” said Mr. O’Shaughnessy.

Onshore, a reinsurance fund startup is expected sometime between March and June. The CooperNeff Risk-Linked Asset Fund is now only available to employees and invests in catastrophe insurance.

CooperNeff has $500 million in hedge fund assets in two main funds. The firm offers hedge fund services to both institutional and individual investors.

– Susan L. Barreto, Senior Reporter


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