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Milan Takes Stock of Hedge Fund Industry

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MILAN (–Italy’s stock exchange, the Borsa Italiana, SpA, hosted a one-day hedge fund conference, three years after the launch of the first fund of funds authorized by the Banca d’Italia.

The growth of the hedge fund industry in Italy since that landmark authorization has been rapid. At present, 26 investment management companies in that country now manage speculative assets through a total of 87 funds, of which 79 are funds of funds, with a total of EUR8.5 billion (US$10.2 billion) assets under management, according to a statement from the Borsa.

In the statement, Rafaele Jerusalmi, executive director for markets at Borsa, expressed satisfaction at the number of participants at this annual event and singled out one participant for special mention.

“It was a great honor to host Michael Steinhardt, a true Wall Street legend and one of the most successful money managers ever,” he said. Mr. Steinhardt was an industry pioneer in 1967 when he co-founded Steinhardt Fine Berkowitz & Co.

In 2000, Borsa Italiana created a team dedicated to hedge fund clients, to promote Italian-listed companies and the quality of Italian markets. That team has built relationships with more than 100 U.S. hedge funds, more than 90 in the United States, 20 in Switzerland and eight in France, the statement said.

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