Hedge Fund Women Hit 'High-Water' Mark
Like the high-water-mark measure that motivates hedge funds to outperform their last best gains, High Water Women has surpassed itself each year since a handful of senior women in the hedge fund industry launched the charity organization in 2005.

The 501 (c)(3) has been lauded by everyone from Bloomberg and The New York Times to Smart Money and HedgeWorld. Membership exceeds 2,500 and the group has raised more than $3.5 million in grants and other support for some 15 partner nonprofit organizations, mostly in New York City and the Tri-State area, logging more than 12,000 volunteer hours in the process.

Kathleen Kelley, a High Water Women board member and one of the group's founders, said HWW works with nonprofits to identify volunteer and grant-making opportunities while leveraging the talents and aspirations of professional women-HWW members-which in turn empowers women and youth in need. For example, HWW helped create a financial literacy program that teaches young students the essentials of personal financial independence. It is taught by HWW volunteers in after-school programs throughout New York City. Over the past six years, HWW has raised more than $500,000 in fund drives to provide thousands of at-risk children with fully-loaded backpacks to start the school year and gifts to brighten their holidays. The group is also working on a micro-financing program and other initiatives.

Like most of the HWW volunteers, Kelley has a day job-her's is global macro portfolio manager at Kingdon Capital Management LLC. She began her career with Tudor Investment Corporation, working for Paul Jones, who started the Robin Hood Foundation. As a volunteer there, Kelley sought help from nonprofits to deal with a host of social, economic and health issues. "I met a woman and we started talking to other women our age and who had been in the hedge fund industry for a while, who were at a point in their careers where they wanted to give back. They kept saying, 'But how do you find a good not-for-profit?' By then I knew many fabulous not-for-profits where they could leverage their skill sets. So a few of us thought, what if we find volunteers to go out and vet the organizations, and then set up volunteer activities for other volunteers, and just have it kind of trickle out that way? And it did." While most HWW members work in the financial services industry, they are not all women. "We don't preclude men," Kelley noted, "but after all, we are high water women."

In addition to contributing countless volunteer hours to partner organizations, each year HWW raises funds to provide grant-making support and fund HWW initiatives through signature events such as "Casino Night," which brings together hundreds of professional men and women to raise anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million. This year's gala will be held on April 15 at Gotham Hall in New York City, and everyone is invited. As Kelley pointed out, "There's an opportunity to get involved with HWW on a variety of levels, whether it's volunteering, becoming a member, coming to Casino Night, or just supporting High Water Women in general." To find out more, go to www.highwaterwomen.org.

In other news ...

In 2010 SEI Advisor Network signed on 406 new RIAs-a more than 60% increase in new advisors over 2009-increased assets under management to nearly $31 billion and generated $5 billion in new receipts, according to the Oaks, Pa.-based, wealth management turnkey service provider. Today there are more than 6,000 advisors who work with the network (www.seic.com/advisors).

The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index ("Broad Index") rose 1.38% in February, with eight out of ten sectors posting positive performance for the month. Convertible arbitrage was the best-performing sector for a second month in a row, finishing up 2.90%. Positive performance was also seen in the event driven sector, which finished up 1.44%, with all three of its sub-indices posting positive performance. Go to www.hedgeindex.com for further information.

Raymond James Asset Management Services
has partnered with RiverFront Investment Group (www.riverfrontig.com) of Richmond, Va., to offer four new model portfolios on the Raymond James Freedom Unified Managed Account platform, introduced in 2008. The new Freedom Dynamic UMA portfolios incorporate RiverFront's separately managed account portfolios as the "dynamic engine" in the Dynamic Growth, Dynamic Balanced, Dynamic Balanced with Growth, and Dynamic Equity Income Freedom UMA portfolios. The account minimums are $300,000.

Berenson & Company LLC
, a private investment bank based in New York, has launched a Debt Capital Markets (DCM) platform that draws on the firm's M&A advisory practice and expertise in the credit markets. Debt market specialists Christopher Johnson, vice chairman, and Jack Lucid, managing director, recent additions to Berenson's investment banking team, will run the firm's DCM platform. As part of its DCM capabilities, Berenson (www.berensonco.com) was recently granted FINRA approval to execute public underwritings of debt and equity.

Average CEO total compensation increased 39% in 2010, average total shareholder return was 25% and average net income increased 30%, according to a study of 100 early filers with revenues greater than $1 billion by executive compensation consultancy Steven Hall & Partners. The study confirms that profitability continues to be the key determinant of compensation, and compares 2010 CEO compensation with that of the previous year. For further information go to www.shallpartners.com.

Financial Tracking Technologies LLC in Greenwich, Conn., has released RegSphere, a new version of its compliance software designed specifically for hedge funds, fund of funds and private equity firms. The new product contains 13 compliance modules, which were previously sold separately, on one console. Go to www.financial-tracking.com for further information.

Research and Markets, based in Dublin, has released its report, Mass Affluent Banking, which contains mass-affluent customer survey data covering Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. The report provides the numbers of mass-affluent clients in given target markets, analyses of three business models (banking-led vs. investment-led; relationship management vs. non-advisory; and free bundled vs. fee-based bundled models), and details, for example, how Asian mass affluents differ from their Western European counterparts. For more information, go to www.researchandmarkets.com.


The Corporate Executive Board will host its 2011 Institutional Investor Day on March 18 at the New York Stock Exchange. Go to www.exbd.com for further information.

The Barclays Capital High Yield Bond and Syndicated Loan Conference will be held in Orlando, Fla., on March 24. Go to www.barcap.com or call 404-262-4800 for further information.

Analysts and area specialists from Standard & Poor's Capital IQ, Equity Research Services, Indices, Ratings and Valuation & Risk Strategies will provide their forecasts and evaluations for 2011 and beyond at a conference for institutional investors and advisors scheduled for March 29-30 at the Sentry Conference Center in New York. Go to www.standardandpoors.com or call 212-438-6679 for further information.

The Financial Executives International (FEI) Leadership Summit: Blueprint for Change will be held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Ariz., April 3-5. For information go to www.financialexecutives.org.

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