Och-Ziff to seed new portfolios with own money

Date: Monday, June 8, 2009
Author: HedgeWeek

Listed hedge fund company Och-Ziff is planning to use its own money to seed its new portfolios in a move the firm hopes will inspire client confidence and attract additional investment.

The New York-based firm, one of the world's few publicly-traded hedge fund firms, is currently preparing a new mortgage fund as well as investigating the creation of additional investment portfolios including one focused on energy.

'"When we roll out these funds, we will be the first investor ourselves," Chief Executive and Chairman Dan Och said in a webcast from a business conference. "And then we hope the investors want to follow."

Och-Ziff managed USD30bn when it went public in 2007 but lost roughly one third of its assets as pension funds, endowments and wealthy individuals beat a rapid retreat from hedge funds when the financial crisis deepened in 2008.

"We did not enjoy what we had to go through, but we think it will benefit us in the long term," Och added.

The firm has already begun to grow again with assets reported to be up USD900m in May alone, partly on the back of strong performance. The firm's flagship Och-Ziff Master Fund Ltd is up 9.8 per cent in the first five months of 2009, well ahead of the average hedge fund return of 5.6 per cent, reported by Hedge Fund Research.