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(http://HedgeFundBlogger.com) There was a recent conference in NYC which I was unable to attend on hedge fund marketing, public relations and regulations. At this event a panel discussed how the media often portrays hedge funds, why this happens and what hedge fund managers can do to help the situation. The professionals who attended the event are very knowledgeable and experienced, I'm sorry I couldn't be there. Here is an excerpt from an article discussing the meeting:

Hedge funds are a popular scapegoat for the ongoing financial Armageddon. But are they the real culprits or just easy targets for a misinformed press?

A group of industry insiders recently gathered at a conference in New York to address the issue of hedge funds’ unpopularity and how portfolio managers can better manage their reputations in the news media, while at the same time satisfy regulators that they are not marketing to unqualified investors.

One manager who is familiar with the intensity of the media’s spotlight is Phil Goldstein of Bulldog Investors. Goldstein, who successfully challenged the Securities and Exchange Commission’s hedge fund registration rule, said, “I don’t think anybody is saying, ‘Gee, if all of these hedge funds had registered, we wouldn’t be in this economic crisis.’”

Goldstein said that the media is quick to blame hedge funds whenever something goes wrong in the market such as the skyrocketing prices of oil over the summer. “But now that prices are coming down, I don’t hear anybody saying hedge funds have done a good job bringing down the price of oil,” he added.

Hedge fund public relations strategist Mitch Ackles said he gets a lot of calls from media outlets looking to point the finger at hedge funds every time there’s some market hiccup or movement in a specific stock.

“Clearly they weren’t [a great systematic risk] in this recent situation but it is the lack of understanding, which is fed because of the lack of information,” said Ackles. “And the lack of information is caused by the fear people have of communicating; they don’t want to be perceived as soliciting in any capacity. If hedge funds are able to communicate and open up the kimono a little bit, people might have a greater understanding and blame them a little less.” Read more...

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