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Gramercy Opens Fund To Investors, Hires Portfolio

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GREENWICH, Conn. (–This month Gramercy Advisors LLC opened the Gramercy Global Distressed Fund to outside investors, as it expands its event-driven distressed opportunities investment philosophy.

The fund already has US$15 million in assets including the principals’ capital that was being used to incubate the fund for the past 14 months. The global distressed fund differs from its sibling the Gramercy Emerging Market Fund, which totals US$210 million. Principals of the firm decided in January 2002 to eliminate the geographic boundaries to their investment thesis by expanding their distressed debt strategy to include all global debt, which would include deals in the United States as well, said Richard Giacomo, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Portfolio managers of the new fund purchase distressed debt after a specific event negatively impacts the company and then structures some sort of workout to get the company back on track. The distressed fund was started with a mirroring strategy and discipline of the Gramercy Emerging Market Fund that started in April 1999.

Alongside the strategy expansion, Gramercy added to its portfolio management team. David Ricciardi joined the firm as senior vice president and portfolio manager of the Gramercy Global Distressed Fund. His responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the fund within the existing investment management framework. He will work alongside Managing Directors Robert Koenigsberger and Jay Johnston in handling the strategy.

The new fund is a master feeder structure and is catering to a combination of high-net-worth and institutional investors, Mr. Giacomo said. The service providers for the fund are: IFS, administrator; Bear Stearns, prime brokerage, and PricewaterhouseCoopers as auditor.

Gramercy Advisors LLC manages more than US$320 million in its event-driven distressed debt hedge fund strategy, including separate account relationships, for high-net-worth, endowment, foundation, trust and pension fund clients.

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