Amber Partners Introduces Independent Operational Risk Certification to Hedge Fund Industry; Bear Stearns Asset Management, CooperNeff Advisors and Vega Asset Management Funds First to Be Amber Certified
HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 2005--
Offers Investors a New Standard in Operational Transparency
Amber Partners Ltd. ("Amber"), an independent specialist in hedge fund Operational Risk, today announced the launch of a new standard of operational certification to the industry. Amber produces comprehensive due diligence reports on individual funds, giving investors independent information on fund structure and controls. Funds which meet a benchmark of operational quality are awarded Amber Certified status.
Eleven funds have been Amber Certified to date, including funds managed by Bear Stearns Asset Management, CooperNeff Advisors, and Vega Asset Management. These leading firms manage more than $10 billion of assets.
"While the hedge fund industry now exceeds $1 trillion dollars in invested assets, it remains a young industry dominated by specialized money management firms," said Reiko Nahum, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Amber Partners Ltd. "Industry growth and increasing involvement by institutional investors has created an unprecedented focus on Operational Risk. Amber provides independent, expert due diligence and introduces the new industry standard of Amber Certification."
"We are delighted that our funds have achieved Amber Certification," said Robert Slutz, Chairman of the Vega Funds. "Not only does this recognize the investment which Vega has made in people and systems, but it also provides a new level of transparency for our investors. We have seen the emphasis on Operational Risk increase dramatically and expect investors to become more demanding, searching out funds which have high quality controls in areas such as valuation and independent oversight." Slutz added, "Vega prides itself in its adherence to industry best practice and Amber helps us communicate that commitment to our investors."
The availability of Amber Certifications has been welcomed across the hedge fund industry. The firm is backed by a consortium of private and institutional equity investors including Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Anchor Asset Management and Alexandra Fund Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, Singapore.
"We fully support Amber Partners' efforts," said Bill Ullman, Senior Managing Director of Bear Stearns Securities Corp. "Business infrastructure and the quality of operational controls are critical issues for both hedge fund investors and managers. We believe Amber is providing an innovative solution that will improve operational transparency and further facilitate direct institutional investment in hedge funds."
Amber's industry reach also includes a user network of fund of funds, private banks, family offices and institutions who collectively have exposure to hedge funds in excess of $50 billion. Each member of the user network agrees to use Amber Certifications within their investment decision making process and to encourage managers with whom they have invested to submit their funds for certification.
Paul Zummo, CIO of JP Morgan Alternative Asset Management, said "As interest continues to grow in the hedge fund industry on many fronts, we support and encourage Amber's commitment to the ongoing assessment of the operational standards in our industry."
In addition to hedge fund managers and investors, Amber Certifications provide a solution to the due diligence requirements of the wider industry. "Amber Certifications provide valuable information to assist counterparties, especially in the area of credit assessment," added Nahum. "Other service providers, including the insurance industry, will also benefit from the new level of due diligence information Amber can provide."
Richard Ellis, Associate Director of Aon Limited, commented that "the work that Amber Partners is doing is very positive news for the hedge fund industry. As well as giving investors greater confidence, it also sets a benchmark for operational risk management and promotes industry-wide best practice. This in turn will enable the insurance sector to better understand controls and procedures in place, thereby improving their ability to provide relevant and cost-effective insurance solutions for hedge funds."
Amber provides the solution to a major due diligence challenge: cost. Investors may download a detailed due diligence report on each Amber Certified fund at www.amberpartners.com, free of charge, with a password provided by the fund manager. "For many investors, operational due diligence has become time consuming and costly, which can often impede the investment process," said Christopher Addy, Principal and Co-Founder of Amber. "Amber Certifications enable all investors to access benchmark due diligence information, leading to more informed and, in many cases, more rapid investment decisions."
Amber has developed a detailed methodology to guide each stage of the Certification process and each due diligence report is presented in Amber's proprietary format. This framework seeks to ensure that Amber Certifications are consistent and comparable. "Amber's team of Chartered Accountants and CFA charterholders also represents an unparalleled body of experience," said Addy. "Industry knowledge and long-standing due diligence expertise is vital given the many strategies and fund structures in the marketplace."
With the launch of Amber Partners, the company has introduced the Amber Certification seal as a new symbol of quality for the hedge fund industry. The following seal is included on each Amber due diligence report for authentication:
About Amber Partners Ltd.
Amber Partners is an independent operational risk certification firm to the hedge fund industry. Amber conducts comprehensive back office and fund due diligence, providing certification to funds that meet an industry benchmark of operational quality. Amber certified funds are industry leaders, have a commitment to operational best practice, and have responded to investor requirements for greater operational transparency. Amber was founded by Reiko Nahum and Christopher Addy, leading experts in the field of operational risk, and is supported by a consortium of shareholders including Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, certain principals of Vega, Anchor Asset Management and Alexandra Fund Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, Singapore. For further information, please visit www.amberpartners.com.
Reiko Nahum, CA, is Chief Executive Officer of Amber Partners Ltd. Prior to co-founding Amber, Ms. Nahum was President and Director of UBP Asset Management and a Member of Senior Management of Union Bancaire Privee, one of the world's largest fund of fund investors. As global head of UBP's Operational Risk due diligence function, Ms. Nahum was responsible for the creation and development of UBP's Operational Risk group, leading a team of Operational Risk analysts based in Bermuda and New York. A full bio is available at www.amberpartners.com.
Christopher Addy, CA CFA, is Principal of Amber Partners Ltd. Prior to co-founding Amber, Mr. Addy was Senior Vice President of UBP Asset Management and a Member of Management of Union Bancaire Privee, Geneva. Mr. Addy has more than ten years of experience in the offshore investment industry and previously held positions with the Atlantic Philanthropies and PricewaterhouseCoopers. A full bio is available at www.amberpartners.com.
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Amber Partners Ltd.
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