NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–Keeping a watch on the bottom line at hedge funds, Linda Munn and Myriam Stephens are helping hedge fund managers’ form successful businesses alongside profitable investment strategies.
Their venture, HedgePros, helps pre-startups, startups, established hedge fund firms and traditional long-only money management firms create core business and marketing strategies. The firm offers investment managers business and office planning, sales and marketing strategic and business planning.
“We thought we could develop a company to help hedge funds do everything except invest the money,” said Ms. Munn, founding principal of the new business.
Coming from the long-only world, Ms. Munn was a managing director-principal of the Bear Stearns corporate marketing department and was responsible for the development and introduction of the corporate identity system and firm-wide marketing, advertising and business building efforts. Ms. Stephens, also founding principal at HedgePros, brings hedge fund experience to the partnership and was a principal at the prime brokerage division at Bank of America. She was involved in generating new business and managing existing client relationships.
While working at Bank of America, Ms. Stephens was surprised that most hedge fund customers never came back to the prime brokerage firm to renegotiate fees and contracts. “This is a world were everything is negotiable, especially given the competition,” Ms. Stephens said.
One of HedgePros’ many services includes contract negotiating on rates for financing, stock loan rebates and commission trades. The firm will also help startup hedge funds find lawyers, accountants, offshore administrators and trading systems and technology providers. Most of this work is done by Ms. Stephens, who has an extensive list of industry contacts as a result of her experience as chief financial officer and chief operating officer at hedge fund manager Mandrakos Capital. Mandrakos managed more than US$150 million in assets from its inception 1980 to its closing in 1997.
On a limited basis HedgePros will screen potential hedge fund investors to raise capital for funds. Ms. Munn is assisting firms in marketing, helping them develop and produce sales and marketing materials and secure web sites. She also works to develop a brand for the firm so investors will recognize a firm’s name and its expertise.
One of the biggest efforts at HedgePros is customized fund of funds, an area which both founders see as an evolving industry. Working with hedge funds of funds, HedgePros is encouraging the creation of proprietary funds of funds that could be distributed by long-only traditional managers. The firm also manages the budget and administrative process of setting up both a domestic and offshore funds of funds. The cost is low for funds of funds managers to start a customized fund of funds, according to Ms. Stephens and can be recaptured in the fund of funds first year of business.
HedgePros officially opened its business in June and has a number of clients including several funds of funds and a couple hedge funds. A variety of different projects are in the works, Ms. Munn said.