Combatting a Battered Image of Hedge Funds

Combatting a Battered Image of Hedge Funds

While G20 leaders meet and among other things discuss the global regulation of hedge funds it is important to consider what we as hedge fund professionals can do to help improve the overall image and collective actions of the hedge fund industry. At some point it is in the best interest of everyone within the industry to not only act with the best intentions but to also take it one step further and pro-actively communicate a consistent message of transparency and trust to fellow employees, investors and the general public.

There are concretre things which hedge fund managers can take action on today to help improve their ability to manage their image and their share of the hedge fund industry's image through their investors, press inquiries and the conferences and networking events they attend. A few steps which can be taken could include:

  1. Creating a Formal Board of Advisors: I have seen some hedge funds grow not because they have hired the most third party marketing firms or spent the most on face-to-face paid introductions but because they sought advice and advisory from a diverse and experienced group of industry professionals. Building a board of advisors of 4-12 professionals with experience in running the portfolio management, marketing and operations of a fund can make the difference between making it to the $100M and $1B marks or staying off the radar of most investors forever.

  2. Managing Your Public Relations: No, you do not need to spend $12,000 a month on a public relations consultant but at the very least you should speak with other managers on hwo they handle inquiries, speak with your compliance advisor about what you can say and not say and decide as a fund what clear messages you will be trying to send when there are opportunities to speak with the press or at an event or conference. These opportunities are numerous for those who seek them and are ready to execute when the time is right.

  3. Creating an Ethics Policy: Every fund, from the three person startup to the 300 employee multi-billion dollar funds should have an ethics policy. This policy should be public, followed and principles-based as much possible since new situations arise daily which may not fit a rigid lists of rules and commands.

  4. Increase or Emphasize Your Skin in the Game: Many investors, press professionals and consultants I speak with often forget that a good number of hedge fund managers have invested within their own portfolios. If you have 70-100% of your net worth or liquid net worth invested within your fund, explain this to your investors it is suprising how seldom this is mentioned within current industry marketing materials. You need to have something to lose if clients lose, in many cases investors want a group which is motivated to quickly cut potential losses and protect the portfolio above all else

To read dozens of additional articles on hedge fund marketing and sales please see this section on this niche topic: Hedge Fund Marketing & Sales Tips

Tags: hedge fund marketing, hedge fund, hedge funds, public image of hedge funds

European Business Summit 2009 Notes

EU Business Summit

European Business Summit Notes

European Business Summit 2009 Notes I am at the European Business Summit in Brussels today listening to speaches on the topics of financing, green business, the economic crisis and private equity / hedge funds. The theme here at the conference is on how to maintain and improve business standards and practices during a time when many businesses are failling or struggling to survive and turn a profit for their investors. Some of the speakers today include:

  • Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister of Belgium
  • H.E. Abdullah Gul, President of Turkey
  • Mirek Topolanek, Prime Minister of Czech Republic
  • William J. Mills, CEO of EMAE CitiGroup
  • Ian Hudson, President EMEA Dupont
  • Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO Philips
  • Guy Jonshon, CNBC Anchor

After speaking with other participants and speakers the panel I am participating in will soon be discussing:

  1. The importance of regulating hedge funds and private equity separately
  2. Acknowledging that hedge funds and private equity often take the brunt of the blame for trading activities completed by banks and traders around the world.
  3. The importance of balancing the desire to regulate hedge funds without kills the very ecosystem which has lead to such an agile and successful niche of the industry.
  4. How much risk do hedge funds and private equity firms pose to the greater market? How can we keep the level of leverage used by these firms in check?

If you are at the conference yourself I will be at the coctail networking and Gala dinner events this evening.

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Help Finding Seed Capital for New Hedge Funds?

Capital Raising Help

Help Finding Seed Capital for New Funds?

Help Finding Seed Capital for New Hedge Funds?Question: Do you help hedge funds who are seeking hedge fund startup capital?

Answer: Yes and no, the classic “it depends.” I have a list of seed capital providers which you may access for free here. In addition to that I have many capital introduction and third party marketing contacts which I may be able to help you connect with. I do this through working with a prime brokerage firm here in the US. This firm specializes in working with hedge funds with under $100M under management and has many relationships in place which can help these funds grow over time. 

If you would like our help in finding seed capital for your hedge fund or startup investment fund please complete the form below:

For general information on hedge fund marketing please see: Marketing & Sales Tips

For information on starting a hedge fund please see our guide here: Hedge Fund Startup Tools

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Can Hedge Funds Speak to the Press? | Q & A

Hedge Fund Press Exposure

Can Hedge Funds Speak to the Press? Q & A

Can Hedge Funds Speak to the Press? | Q & AQuestion: Why Can’t Hedge Funds Speak with the Press?

Answer: Due to current SEC solicitation regulations many hedge fund professionals will not speak directly to the press. While it is often the case that speaking to the press itself is not grounds for action from a regulatory body saying the wrong thing can, and many hedge funds do not want to come anywhere close to doing so.

I have heard from many reporters both within the US and elsewhere who have a hard time connecting directly with hedge fund managers for press inquiries. If you are one of these journalists or book authors looking to connect with hedge fund managers please shoot us an email and we can provide some guidance or introduce you to a few hedge fund public relations experts who could also be of assistance.

For dozens of additional articles on hedge fund marketing and sales please see this section of our website: Marketing & Sales Tips

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Hedge Fund Startup Website Launching

Hedge Fund Help

Hedge Fund Startup Website Launching

Hedge Fund Startup Website LaunchingYou may have already browsed our Hedge Fund Startup Guide.

In less than 8 weeks our team will be launching a new site dedicated to helping hedge fund startups. The site will seek to be especially useful for hedge fund managers with less than $50M in assets under management. We will help by providing capital raising advice, industry interviews, book reviews, sample marketing materials, introductions to service providers, events, and free marketing and sales advice. What you will not see here is non-stop re-publishing of press releases, information on fund closures, or other distracting news.

Our goal is to offer over 200 pages of helpful articles, guides, tips and relationship introductions all on one single focused website aimed to help you grow your hedge fund business. The price that we will be charging for this premium content is $0. If you have any resources which you have already written yourself or found that should be included in this new site please email them to

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European Business Summit | Brussels, Belgium

European Business Summit

European Business Summit | Brussels, BelgiumLater this week I will be speaking at the European Business Summit in Brussels, Belgium. There is a coctail networking event after the conference followed by a Gala Dinner. If you are in Brussels or attending the event yourself please drop me an email and we can meet up at some point during the event.

If you have never heard of the European Business Summit, it is a widely followed event discussing the future of commerce and finance within the Europe and is attended by both business professionals from around the world, you may learn more by clicking here.

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Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner | Toxic Asset Plan

Timothy F. Geithner

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner | Toxic Asset PlanI believe that the Obama administration may have a hard time attracting many hedge fund and private equity groups in supporting Timothy Geithner's plan on cleaning up toxic bank assets. Since Obama has taken office the US government has been playing with the idea of regulating hedge funds, discussing decreasing their capital gains tax privileges, and in some circles limiting their pay. This combined with the recent actions against AIG and UBS make many funds will be careful in what they commit to. A favor done today may be a burden tomorrow.
Obama administration officials worked Sunday to persuade reluctant private investors to buy as much as $1 trillion in troubled mortgages and related assets from banks, with government help.

The talks came a day before the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, planned to unveil the details of the administration’s long-awaited plan to purchase troubled assets, meant to remove them from the balance sheets of banks and, in turn, spur banks to lend more money to consumers and companies.

The deal is good, but it’s not worth it if I’m buying myself into a retroactive tax or a Congressional hearing,” the chief executive of a major investment firm said, insisting on anonymity because he did not want to seem at odds with the Treasury Department in the event that his firm ends up participating. source

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Hedge Fund Registration and Compliance Services

Hedge Fund Registration & Compliance Services

Hedge Fund Registration and Compliance ServicesMany firms are already beefing up their compliance services divisions as the industry expects many layers of both asset and industry regulation over the next 18 months. While many funds prepare for increased costs during their most challenging periods of existence many auditing and consulting firms see an opportunity to grow their own business by helping funds meet new requirements.

Just this morning a press release went out from a firm explaining how their services could be used if the Hedge Fund Transparency Act passes later this year. Here is quote from this release:
By the fourth quarter, Congress is expected to pass The Hedge Fund Transparency Bill of 2009, which would require investment companies or advisers that are exempt from normal registration, but have at least $50 million in assets under management (AUM), to register with the SEC. “Those funds that have already registered must be prepared for additional oversight and a more aggressive examination and enforcement agenda; those funds that have not yet registered may be required to create a complete internal control and compliance infrastructure in order to be prepared for the regulatory examination process,” said Jack Katz, national managing partner of Grant Thornton’s Financial Services practice.
For more information on hedge fund regulations and compliance please see our: Hedge Fund Regulation Corner

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Is Third Party Marketing Only For Hedge Funds?

Marketing Q & A

Third Party Marketing Q & A

Is Third Party Marketing Only For Hedge Funds?Question: Is third party marketing only for hedge funds?

Answer: After working in the industry for several years the clear answer to this question is no. Just within my career I have helped market and represent a wide variety of diverse clients which included a $1B+ South African Fund of Fund, an $80B+ long only manager, a $24B+ long only manager, multiple long/short hedge funds and one ETF product. All of this was within just two different firms.

A recent survey presented within the Preqin Global Hedge Fund Investor book showed that 14.3% of all third party marketing firms surveyed represent both private equity and hedge fund clients, as there are often overlaps in relationships at the firm level while looking to raise assets for both of these types of managers.

For more hedge fund marketing and sales related questions please see our Hedge Fund & Investment Marketing & Sales Tips Section. For more third party marketing related information please see

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Hedge Fund Tracker Updates on Third Point, TCI & Paulson

Tracker Updates

Hedge Fund Tracker Updates

Hedge Fund Tracker Updates on Third Point, TCI & PaulsonOur team has recently been working to update our Hedge Fund Tracker profiles on these three hedge funds:

To view over 1,000 profiles of hedge funds please see this tool: Hedge Fund Tracker Tool

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London vs. New York - Which Will Emerge Stronger?

London vs. New York

A recent article claims that London will remain the financial center of the world, despite their efforts to put strict regulations in place across the financial and banking industries. Here is a short excerpt from this article:
Setting out his vision for change, the FSA's new chairman issued a stark warning that regulation will become far more stringent. However, this tough new line will not harm London's position as a premier financial centre, he claimed, because regulation worldwide will become more rigid.

In a statement intended to counter threats from hedge funds and other financial institutions that they may relocate if the UK becomes unattractive, he added: "We are not going to fall into the trap that we did in the past of trying to get a minor competitive advantage by making regulation a little lighter than elsewhere. The disadvantages of getting it wrong are hugely bigger."

What do you believe? Will New York or London emerge stronger in 3-5 years once this crisis has passed?

Quotes on the 90% Surtax Bill

Quotes on the 90% Surtax Bill

As you may have already read a new bill sets a 90% surtax on those who earn more than $250,000 a received a bonus from a firm which took in over $5B in federal aide. Here are some quotes from Dealbreaker, Fintag and Obama on the issue.

Here is a quote from Dealbreaker on this:

A Dealbreaker commenter points out: "The bill that just passed is saying that anyone working for those firms with a combined family income of $250k or more will have the bank employee's bonus taxed at 90%."

The reason for this, which I hinted at yesterday, is that its difficult to get such a directed tax bill to pass constitutional muster without widening the people it impacts. If you think it is an accident that the bill has been set up this way after executive comp failed badly on the first two go-arounds, then you just don't understand the meaning of "never let a crisis go to waste."

Here is a quote from Fintag:

---Please God, if these wretched urchins have spent their ill gotten bonuses, please help them find a way to pay the tax that the almighty O needs to placate the rioting jobless and socialist state troopers who have lost everything to people smarter than they but who are now caught out by their own arrogance. Amen

Here is a quote from Obama while speaking on Jay Leno's Tonight Show

"Look, I understand Congress' frustrations," he said on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." But he suggested that legislators were being more vindictive than constructive.

"Everybody's angry... but I think that the best way to handle this is to make sure that you close the door before the horse gets out of the barn. And what happened here was the money's already gone out, and people are scrambling to try to find ways to get back at them," he said

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I am always working to provide a more thorough and professional website on hedge funds here at As we expand this website and our related niche websites on third party marketing, prime brokerage, hedge fund careers and family offices I am looking for feedback on how we could do a better job.

Do we need to add more videos? Less news? More free e-books and downloadable resources? More conference review notes? What are we missing?

How could we make our website extremely valuable to you?

We have gotten over 300 pieces of feedback on this topic in the past and it has helped shape what we offer today. Please comment below with any feedback you may have for us, or sent us an email at

Shadow Banking System | Britain Hedge Fund Regulations

Shadow Banking System

Britain Hedge Fund Regulations

Shadow Banking System | Britain Hedge Fund RegulationsWhile completing some research for an upcoming conference on the future of hedge funds and private equity and Europe I came across this article below. It discusses the proposed changes to Britain's regulation regime which could directly affect hedge fund managers in London, one of the top two most popular centers of hedge fund activity today. Here is the article excerpt:
Secretive hedge funds will eventually be subject to the same supervisory rules as banks, under a tightening of Britain’s system of regulation.

The changes, which will require banks and other lenders to build up their reserves in healthy economic times, could become the basis for international efforts to overhaul regulation at the G20 summit in London on April 2. The moves will be proposed on Wednesday in a report by Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, who will call for an overhaul of the tripartite links between the FSA, the Bank of England and the Treasury. source

If you would like to read more about hedge fund regulations, compliance or recent fraud reports please see our: Hedge Fund Regulation Corner

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Hedge Fund Manager Profiles Updated | Learn More

Manager Profiles

Hedge Fund Manager Profiles Updated

We have recently updated several of our Hedge Fund Tracker profiles - these are collections of notes on individual hedge funds and make up a unique free-to-access resource for professionals in the industry.

Here are a list of the profiles which were updated just today:
View over 1,000 hedge fund manager profiles through our: Hedge Fund Tracker Tool

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Family Office Wealth Advisory Services Growing

Family Office Wealth Advisory Services

Family Office Wealth Advisory Services GrowingFamily office wealth services are growing in popularity. This is mainly due to HNW individuals realizing that their lawyer, estate planner, stock broker and CPA may want to speak directly to each other more than once every two years and partially due to an increase in the number of wealth managers positioning themselves as family offices, whether or not they have traditionally offered this level of service or not.

Here is a short article on the growing popularity of family offices:
The current niche service offering of a family office for high net worth clients will become a stronger proposition for financial advisers to consider in the future, according to Shadforth Guest McLeod private client adviser Chris Taylor.

"The family office is really an investment for the future of your business, of your advisers' business and it's the easiest way to get clients," Taylor said.

The one-stop shop service of a family office would become more of a mainstream service offered by advisers in the future as a result of Australia's ageing population, he said. source
For over 100 articles and resources on family offices please see

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Hedge Fund Trends in Brazil and Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo Hedge Funds

Hedge Fund Trends in Brazil and Sao Paulo

Hedge Fund Trends in Brazil and Sao PauloI recently completed a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil and met with several hedge funds while in town. I was fascinated by the size and breadth of the hedge fund industry in Brazil. Here are some quick facts and insight I gained during my meetings here:
  1. Brazilian hedge funds are here to stay. They are competitive and take a long-term view to building their funds
  2. Over 300 hedge funds are based in Sao Paulo - the largest of which manges around $5B in assets.
  3. Many hedge funds in Sao Paulo are connected to investment banks or family offices, they have enough money to operate profitably even if their assets are low compared to US standards. This makes them more resiliant during poor economic conditions
  4. Brazilian hedge fund managers are looking for marketing assistance. If you are a third party marketer or if you speak both portuguese and english there may be opportunities to work with some of the better managers in the region.
  5. There are dozens of highly skilled managed futures and CTA funds based in Sao Paulo. Many of them started out trading money for family and friends and now have fully formed funds.
If you would like to learn more about Brazilian hedge fund mangaers please see our Hedge Fund Guide to Brazil.

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State by State Hedge Fund Regulations

State by State Hedge Fund Regulations

I agree with a few of the statements below. The more universal and pinpointed the new regulations are on hedge funds the better for everyone involved. This needs to be a top down effort from the federal government and not a state by state effort which would result in more costs and less business done. Here is the article excerpt:
As state lawmakers debate legislation that would place tighter oversight on hedge funds, most agree that regulation over the industry should come from the federal government.

“Just as a matter of principle I think state regulation of financial institutions is not a good idea,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, (D-Greenwich) a member of the financial services committee on Capitol Hill and a former Goldman Sachs employee. “We need greater uniformity and simplicity in regulating the system and I think it should come from the federal government.” source

For more articles and resources on hedge fund regulations and compliance please see this guide: Hedge Fund Regulation Corner.

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Hedge Fund Marketing and Sales Positions

Interview on Hedge Funds

Hedge Fund Marketing and Sales Positions

Below is a short video interview about the hedge fund industry, how it shrank by 14% last year. This brings the industry down to 2004 levels of employment. The interview does note that while hedge funds may loose another $200B in redemptions, they are outperforming again and this may offset some of these asset losses. More than ever if you are an expert in hedge fund marketing and sales there are many opportunities in the industry.

To view dozens of additional resources on marketing and sales please see our: Hedge Fund Marketing & Sales Guide.

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Hedge Fund Capital Raises Now More Difficult

Capital Raises

Hedge Fund Capital Raises More Difficult

Hedge Fund Capital Raises Now More DifficultRecent surveys and conferences have pointed to a difficult fundraising environment for hedge fund managers. You don't need a survey or conference to realize that it would be hard to raise assets for almost any type of investment right now - but many professionals believe that hedge fund capital raising will now always be harder than it was before. I personally believe that the more that changes the more that remains the same - most hedge funds will not create a robust marketing plan and many will ignore certain capital raising channels such as broker/dealer HNW networks, small family offices and growing wealth management firms.

In my experience there is still a lot of opportunity out there for capital raising, even if we are experiencing a period right now where relationships can be grown much easier than assets. Here is an article on how the market is becoming more competitive and how family offices may be one of the top sources of new capital for hedge funds.
Hedge funds expect 2009 will be a difficult year for the industry with many looking for a dramatic increase in competition for scarce new investors according to a report by the accounting firm Rothstein Kass.

The vast majority of industry professionals (79%) believe hedge funds will revert to being a niche investment class by the end of the year.

Hedge fund managers responding to the survey said new investors would be the primary source of new capital, with 83.7% of respondents expecting competition for investors to be much fiercer than in the past.

"The sophisticated investors that comprise the traditional hedge fund asset base are generally able to tolerate short-term volatility in pursuit of long-term performance. However, recent volatility has contributed to a disproportionate shake-out," said Howard Altman, the co-managing principal overseeing the financial services group at Rothstein Kass.

He expected many hedge funds to go back to basics, with 73% of survey respondents indicating that family offices and individual investors represent the best sources of new capital. source

For dozens of additional hedge fund marketing and sales resources please see this page: Marketing & Sales Tips

For information on family offices please see

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HedgeCo Websites | Thank You Note

HedgeCo Websites Help

I owe HedgeCo Websites a thank you note. Last year they took my site from being less than professional and helped me convert into what it looks like today. I often track my website statistics closely and I noticed on the day the design went live my pageviews per visitor went from 1.77 to 2.10 pageviews per visitor. This may seem like a small change to those who do not follow these types of web statistics but it makes a big difference over the long run. This means my 8,300 pageviews a day moved up to a total of 10,000 pageviews of web traffic each day.

HedgeCo Websites does not work with many blogs or educational such as mine, 90% of their clients are hedge fund managers who are looking to create robust, automated and password secured websites which can help them market their fund while remaining in compliance with various laws and regulations around the world. To see some examples of websites which they have produced please click here, here or here.

If you know someone looking to create a website for their hedge fund please have them checkout and consider using

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Middle East Hedge Funds | Quotes

Middle East Funds

Middle East Hedge Funds | Quotes

Middle East Hedge Funds | QuotesThere have been several conferences in the Dubai and the middle east over the past several weeks which went very well. There were many in attendance and the mood was relatively upbeat for such a difficult financial time for hedge funds. One theme which came out during this conference was that middle east based hedge funds and those hedge fund managers in Dubai have suffered less than their US and Europe based counterparts. Here is a short article excerpt on this same topic:

The Gulf has not been as badly impacted by the turmoil as other regions around the world and regional markets would be among the first ones to recover from the global economic tumult, said panelists at the 10th Annual Hedge Funds World Middle East conference.

"If we look at the region as a whole it's been an embryonic market in the funds industry as a whole.

"There are lot of people who have settled down here. What we have seen is development of that industry, the arrival of skill set and we have seen that 50 per cent of asset management firms are actually manufacturing products on ground. source

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S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient Index | Carbon Indices

Carbon Efficient Index

S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient Index | Indices

S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient Index | Carbon IndicesThe S&P is launching a series of carbon based investment indices, the first to be offered is the S&P US Carbon Efficient Index. To learn more about this please see the article excerpt below:

Standard & Poor's has launched the first in a series of global low carbon indices to meet the growing investor demands for environmentally focused indices.

The S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient Index will measure the performance of large cap U.S. companies with relatively low carbon emissions, while seeking to closely track the return of the S&P 500.

The new Index, which is part of the Standard & Poor's global thematic index series, provides a benchmark to the market while allowing investors to create financial products that seek to gain exposure from a more environmentally efficient perspective. source

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