London Firm Insures Against Hedge Fund Fraud

Jan 22 2008 | 8:43am ET

Victims of hedge fund frauds now have recourse beyond soft weeping and the courts. A newly-formed London firm has unveiled an insurance policy for hedge fund investors offering protection from a variety of misdeeds perpetrated by a hedge fund’s employees or directors.

Protean Investment Risks yesterday launched its Protean product, which covers such malfeasance as misrepresentation of assets and theft. The firm said it is the first policy of its type available to all types of hedge fund investors, including high net-worth, institutional and family office investors.

Protean policies—which will be underwritten by Catlin Group, Great Lakes Reinsurance and other Lloyd’s of London reinsurers—will consider investment strategy, firm experience, place of incorporation, management, independence of valuation, investment selection process and due diligence to determine the premium. Investors will pay in the low tens of basis points on the portfolio value for the insurance, MarketWatch reports.

Protean founder Nathan Sewell says his product was inspired by the collapse of Greenwich, Conn.-based Lancer Management Group in 2003. After the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged its manager with fraud, an investor approached Sewell about an insurance product, he said.

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