Texas Hedge Fund Association

Officials Kick Off Texas Hedge Fund Association

HOUSTON (HedgeWorld.com)--A prominent state in the hedge fund industry, Texas, now has its own hedge fund group to aid hedge fund investors and managers alike.

The formation of the Texas Hedge Fund Association is part of a mission involving education, research and networking in the growing hedge fund industry in Texas. Christopher Alan Zook, who is chief investment officer of CAZ Investments, a Houston-based hedge fund firm, leads the board of directors. "We are able to get the word out of what the pros and cons are of hedge funds," Mr. Zook said.

The percentage of hedge fund ownership is not at all what you expect for the size of the state, he added. He and W. Thomas Augenthaler, managing principal of Hedge Fund Center and Hedge Fund Launch, a company focused on hedge fund education, co-founded the THFA.

Also on the board of directors are: William J. Blythe, Jr., executive director of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems; Clive D. Bode, a director of the BBT Fund and counselor to Bass family members; John Peavey, chief investment officer of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas in Austin; Ed Easterling, president of Crestmont Holdings; Eliot Raffkind, senior partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld and Erik Forssman, partner at Ernst & Young.

Although the new group is not affiliated with the national Hedge Fund Association, the THFA doesn't view itself as competition to the HFA. "We are here just to service the local market in a more intimate fashion," Mr. Zook said.

Membership will include hedge fund managers, high-net-worth individuals, academics, pension fund investors, family offices, foundations, other institutional investors and hedge fund service providers.

According to Sam Vogel, the executive director and co-founder of the THFA, Texas and the Southwestern United States in general represent one of the largest concentrations of hedge fund assets under management in the United States, with Dallas Fort-Worth being the third largest center for hedge funds after New York and San Francisco.

The group plans to issue quarterly newsletters, research, surveys and other educational resources. They also plan to launch a database for Texas and regional hedge fund managers to gain exposure among other members that are high-net-worth and institutional investors. Educational events and conferences are also planned.

Officials are celebrating the launch of the group on May 15 at the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas.

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