NEW Yen fund to invest in US with minimized currency risk – Laurus-Valens – Eugene Grin

Laurus-Valens, the New York based investment advisory firm, announced the launch of the Valens Yen Fund. Valens, which currently oversees approximately $1.6 bln in assets and runs a variety of funds, launched the yen fund with assets of 1 bln JPY.

 

The Fund has been designed specifically in response to Japanese investor interest in the Valens investment strategy and it will provide qualified Japanese investors with access to a mirror image of the Laurus Offshore Fund, with minimal currency exchange risk. “Our yen denominated fund provides our Japanese investors with access to investments in U.S. micro cap and late stage private companies and makes their investments more stable for them, as they won’t be susceptible to the value of the dollar sinking or spiking at any time,” said Dennis Pollack, Partner and Senior Managing Director.

By; Kirsten Bischoff, Opalesque New York:

 

JAY B. DREZNER JOINS LAURUS-VALENS AS SENIOR INVESTMENT ANALYST

Dennis Pollack, partner and senior managing director at Laurus-Valens, an investment management firm specializing in investments in small and micro cap companies, announced that Jay Drezner has joined Laurus-Valens as a senior investment analyst. Mr. Drezner has an extensive 9 year background in the finance and investment banking industry.

“I am truly pleased that Jay will be a part of our team. Jay’s background in both domestic and international investment banking will offer Laurus-Valens new insight and opportunities as we seek sound and profitable investments for our portfolio,” said Dennis Pollack.

Mr. Drezner will be responsible at a senior level for analyzing, structuring and executing new transactions as well as working with existing Laurus-Valens portfolio investments to maximize value and return potential. Prior to joining Laurus-Valens, Mr. Drezner spent nine years at Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, most recently as a director in the Leveraged Finance Group where he covered companies in the aerospace and defense, satellite services, and air transportation sectors and executed a broad variety of leveraged finance transactions.

Prior to moving to the Leveraged Finance Group, Mr. Drezner was in the Buyside Insights Group at Credit Suisse, where he worked with corporate clients in the consumer products, business services and mid-cap industrials space to enhance equity values through the use of value-based management consulting techniques. Other roles Mr. Drezner had at Credit Suisse included serving as a vice president in Credit Suisse’s Australian investment banking operation, covering media and telecommunications companies, and two years as an Associate in Credit Suisse’s New York office in the Media & Telecom coverage group. Mr. Drezner began his professional career in the early 1990’s with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc., an advertising agency, as an assistant media director handling major corporate consumer product clients. “I am thrilled to join Laurus-Valens and look forward to the challenges ahead. I am eager to work with such a knowledgeable and esteemed group of finance and investment professionals,” said Mr. Drezner.

Mr. Drezner holds a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.

House Crunch effecting Hendge Fund Farallon Capital Management

TCM reports:

“The housing crunch continues. The Los Angeles Times Land Blog has a stunning report on just how bad real estate prices have fallen in California during the past year. According to the California Association of Realtors press release, the median sales price of an existing home fell by a whopping 26.2% from a year earlier. The unsold inventory reached 14.3 months compared with 8.2 months for the same period in February 2007. Nationally, prices fell over the past year at a rate of $338 per week; in California, prices apparently fell at a rate of $2,788 per week. Such declines do not yet show signs of decelerating or even bottoming.

According to  WSJ article, “The credit crunch and market volatility have roughed up other multibillion-dollar hedge funds, which on average have lost about 3.35% this year, according to Hedge Fund Research’s daily global performance index. Platinum Grove Asset Management, the $6 billion hedge-fund firm run by LTCM alumnus Myron Scholes, has lost 13% this month on credit trades, putting it 10% down for the year, according to a person familiar with the fund.

Also, Farallon Capital Management LLC in San Francisco, which manages about $36 billion, has lost 5.6% this year through last week in its flagship Farallon Capital Partners fund.

Hedge Funds Getting Through The Credit Crunch of 2008

Bridgewater Associates comment on the credit crunch effecting the hedge funds;

For the most part, hedge funds have gotten through the credit crunch relatively unscathed. For example, the average hedge fund generated a return of 12.5% last year and 2.5% in the fourth quarter. And private equity funds generated an average return of 11%. The main reason that these two groups held up as well as they did is because the equity market has not fallen nearly as much as the bond markets (i.e., spreads), and the majority of the risk allocation of these funds is in the equity market. And because their performance held up, they have not been forced into much asset liquidation to speak of. But stock market action is beginning to pressure the hedge funds and private equity players.

Hedge funds used to be a lot more hedged than they are today. Today, just about anyone who wants higher fees based on total return calls themselves a hedge fund, even if they are just a buyer of assets. And the fat cash flow yields in global stocks have also attracted a number of hedge funds into net long equity positions. As a result, hedge funds are now heavily long the equity market. Based on fund by fund holdings data we estimate that hedge funds are net long about $150 to $200 billion in U.S. equities (foreign equities are not included in this figure).

Hedge funds are also highly leveraged. Losses raise a fund’s leverage ratio, which requires asset liquidations to bring the leverage ratio back to normal.

Laurus – Valens Hedge Fund Adds partner – Kendall Raine

Laurus-Valens, a New York-based firm specializing in hedge funds that make private investments in publicly traded small and microcap stocks has hired a managing director from A.G. Edwards.

These private transactions typically give the Laurus funds warrants for the right to purchase stock at a discount to market prices. The funds seek double digit returns with lower volatility than the broader markets.

Dennis Pollack, senior managing director of Laurus-Valens, said Thursday that veteran investment banker Kendall Raine has joined the firm as a partner and senior managing director.

Kendall‘s background will offer Laurus-Valens new insight and opportunities during this volatile time in the market,” said Pollack.

Raine, who will oversee a variety of strategic and capital markets initiatives, joins from A. G. Edwards, where he was managing director in the investment banking department. At A.G. Edwards, he was responsible for more than 100 advisory and capital markets transactions for business development, mortgage, and consumer finance companies, private equity firms and other specialty finance companies.

Prior to Edwards, Raine worked for Bear Stearns as associate director responsible for investment banking relationships with Midwest depository institutions. Before that, he was chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based United Pacific Bank and senior executive to the banks’ parent company.  Raine began his banking career as a calling officer in the Asia division of Chemical Bank.

Laurus-Valens, one of the nation’s largest investors in penny stocks, has approximately $1.7 billion in assets under management.  Laurus invests in private investment in public equity, or Pipes, a financing vehicle for small, cash-strapped companies. Hedge funds use Pipes to buy shares at a discounted price and can quickly resell them.

Last March, Laurus Capital Management LLC launched Valens Fund to invest in publicly traded small and micro-cap companies seeking cost effective growth capital.

Laurus-Valens Plucks MD From A.G. Edwards

Laurus-Valens, a New York-based firm specializing in hedge funds that make private investments in publicly traded small and microcap stocks has hired a managing director from A.G. Edwards.
These private transactions typically give the Laurus funds warrants for the right to purchase stock at a discount to market prices. The funds seek double digit returns with lower volatility than the broader markets.
Dennis Pollack, senior managing director of Laurus-Valens, said Thursday that veteran investment banker Kendall Raine has joined the firm as a partner and senior managing director.
“Kendall’s background will offer Laurus-Valens new insight and opportunities during this volatile time in the market,” said Pollack.
Raine, who will oversee a variety of strategic and capital markets initiatives, joins from A. G. Edwards, where he was managing director in the investment banking department. At A.G. Edwards, he was responsible for more than 100 advisory and capital markets transactions for business development, mortgage, and consumer finance companies, private equity firms and other specialty finance companies.
Prior to Edwards, Raine worked for Bear Stearns as associate director responsible for investment banking relationships with Midwest depository institutions. Before that, he was chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based United Pacific Bank and senior executive to the banks’ parent company. Raine began his banking career as a calling officer in the Asia division of Chemical Bank.
Laurus-Valens, one of the nation’s largest investors in penny stocks, has approximately $1.7 billion in assets under management. Laurus invests in private investment in public equity, or Pipes, a financing vehicle for small, cash-strapped companies. Hedge funds use Pipes to buy shares at a discounted price and can quickly resell them.
Last March, Laurus Capital Management LLC launched Valens Fund to invest in publicly traded small and micro-cap companies seeking cost effective growth capital.

By Natasha Gural, Editor