TORONTO (–A startup Canadian hedge fund firm launched its first hedge fund–a principal protected note–and has additional funds in the works.

Pro-Hedge Funds Inc. launched Pro-Hedge Principal Protected Notes, Univest Series 1, a structured hedge fund linked to the performance of Univest Ltd. Soci?t? G?n?rale, Paris, is providing the 100% principal protection for the note, which matures in December of 2010.

Univest is managed by Norshield Financial Group, Montreal, an alternatives manager with C$900 million (US$667 million) under management. The fund has 14 hedge funds investing in nine different styles, said Stuart McKinnon, president and chief executive of Pro-Hedge.

The note is being sold through financial advisers with a minimum of C$2,500, Mr. McKinnon said. The fund is available until July 10.

Next up for Pro-Hedge will be a hedge fund all-star manager type of fund, he said.

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