PHILADELPHIA (HedgeWorld.com)–The Mid-Atlantic Hedge Fund Association will kick-off its educational program and open up to new members on March 27, holding a seminar on current trends in the hedge fund industry.

Recently organized, the group hopes to promote industry development and to serve as a resource for managers of hedge funds and funds of funds, investors, service providers and academics in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. The association plans to sponsor educational programs, seminars and networking events and to provide other resources and services for its members.

The MAHFA’s first program, “Outlook for the Hedge Fund Industry in 2003,” will be held in Dechert LLP’s Philadelphia office. Moderating the event will be Brian S. Vargo, chairman of the association and counsel in the financial services group at Dechert. Scheduled speakers are: Brian Fischer, managing director of ING Alternative Asset Management; John G. Gaine, president of the Managed Funds Association; Joseph M. Herman, principal at Atlantic-Pacific Capital; and Terence Jones, a member of the hedge fund strategies group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

The groups 11 directors and officers are industry professionals including managers, academics and professionals providing accounting, administration, brokerage, legal and marketing services to the Mid-Atlantic hedge fund community.

MAHFA’S geographic boundaries include New Jersey (central and southern parts of the state), Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia and Virginia down through Richmond, according to the group’s web site.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com