ICAP Launches Hedge Fund Secondary Market Biz

Sep 15 2009 | 10:15am ET

Interdealer broker ICAP Plc today launched a new alternative investment business unit and tapped Laura Prager and Linda Prager to head its team.

The pair will act as co-heads and managing directors of the new group, which aims to provide assistance to investors interested in buying and selling secondary interests in hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and other illiquid assets.

According to the firm, the new group will provide sellers of illiquid positions the ability to gain liquidity, rebalance portfolios and/or reduce exposure to distressed assets. For purchasers, the group will provide access to mark-to-market priced limited partnership interests and other illiquid products, positions with shorter investment horizons, and a channel for rebalancing portfolios. 

Given the recent market volatility and the need for some investors to pull their money from illiquid investments, the secondary market for such funds has grown in popularity. Just yesterday, interdealer broker Tullett Prebon launched a transaction settlement and escrow service for the secondary hedge fund market aimed at reducing the risk of buying and selling hedge fund investment stakes, and last week Swiss firm 2n20.com, announced the launch of its online marketplace where buyers and sellers can trade in hedge fund investments. 

“The secondary markets are an exciting area and we look forward to expanding the ICAP platform with the addition our new Alternative Investments Group,” said Doug Rhoten, chief executive officer of ICAP Americas.

ICAP’s alternative investments group does not list funds for sale on an online marketplace, nor does it auction portfolios or funds. 


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