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ValueQuest Acquisition

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BOSTON (–While Thomas Weisel Asset Management may have been looking to add to its asset management business with the purchase of ValueQuest, it also added resources for its hedge fund business.

The resources are within the senior management team at ValueQuest. Chief Investment Officer Katherine Magrath and senior investment professionals Ned Gray, Zoe Neale, and Larry Franko will continue to manage the ValueQuest investment products. And the integration of the investment groups will likely benefit both companies.

Tim Keefe, the chief investment officer of value products and the portfolio manager of Thomas Weisel’s equity long/short hedge fund, Tailwind Investment Partners, will retain his role managing the hedge fund, but also will join the ValueQuest portfolio oversight group.

Mr. Keefe is looking forward to working with Ms. Neale and Mr. Franko, who both bring analysis expertise in the energy and telecommunications areas, respectively. Healthcare and basic production and manufacturing are other sectors the additional ValueQuest team members will likely add their expertise, he said.

While crossing the arbitrary boundary between long-only and long/short equity analysis, Thomas Weisel expects to gain plenty of new ideas. Some of the group’s research ideas will be beneficial to both sides of the fence, offering the opportunity to use the ideas of the ValueQuest team that weren’t used before on the short side, Mr. Keefe said.

“Our (hedge fund) objectives continue to put up consistent returns with low volatility,” he added.

Thomas Weisel’s Tailwind fund is one of a handful of hedge funds the California Public Employees’ Retirement System invested with early on. In March 2001, the US$50 million allocation was part of a US$500 million allocation authorized earlier that year for alternative investments created by Thomas Weisel.

The terms of the ValueQuest acquisition were not disclosed. With this acquisition, Thomas Weisel now has approximately US$2.7 billion in assets under management.


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