Posts Tagged ‘Alex von Furstenberg’

Alex von Furstenberg and Mal Serure Featured on Opalesque New York

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Opalesque Exclusive: Managers in sweet spot are focusing on more aggressive fundraising from institutional investors

From Kirsten Bischoff for Opalesque New York — For the past few months as inflows have started to increase, institutional investors evaluating managers for allocations have made it clear that the bar for securing assets has been raised. According to most investor surveys, managers need a minimum track record of five years with strong performance, a history of maintaining liquidity to investors (or a very compelling explanation for any gates raised during the financial crisis), and comfort with a high level of transparency along with the infrastructure to support it.

Although the number of funds has been severely reduced, there remains a group of managers that meet these stringent requirements and that recognize that now is the time to step up efforts to secure these inflows into the industry. For New York-based Arrow Capital Management, an event-driven alternative investment firm launched seven years ago by Alexander von Furstenberg and Mal Serure, this means taking more proactive steps, one of which includes the recent hire of industry marketing veteran, Ivan Wanat.

“Since launching in 2003, allocations have been largely from word of mouth referrals. We have not proactively marketed,” senior analyst John DeRaimo says. The hire of Wanat marked the beginning of an asset raising campaign by the team at Arrow Capital, in what the firm views as a move to increase and diversify their investor base.

“We see the opportunity set in front of us as so compelling; the risk adjusted returns that our investors are seeing now and should see over the next few years have never been so attractive,” von Furstenberg told Opalesque during a recent interview.

Strategy, performance, and expectations
Von Furstenberg and Serure view their mandate as global and opportunistic, having invested primarily in large and mid-cap US, European and Asian public equities during the last 7 years. The pair’s current focus is on opportunities in large US multinationals. “I’ve been waiting more than a decade to invest in some of these companies at these valuations, that’s also why we are proactively raising capital for the first time,” says von Furstenberg.

“We view the opportunity to invest in large, multinational companies with high operating margins, conservative balance sheets, and strong management teams as unprecedented – its the current ‘special situation’,” he says. In addition to high quality companies undervalued in relation to their earnings power, the firm continues to pursue more traditional event-driven opportunities around catalysts such as spin-offs, demutualizations and post bankruptcy re-orgs.

Waiting for the right event and valuation to unfold in order to invest in a company they have spent years researching is nothing new to the team. Arrow Capital currently has multiple positions that are now being established after years of research and management meetings.

Transparency and Liquidity
While performance is still the best way to gain the attention of institutional investors, more and more are increasing their focus on a fund’s history of transparency and liquidity. Arrow Capital’s beginnings as a strategy to run internal family assets was set up to be transparent from day one. Arrow’s results have always been audited and the firm has provided its clients with monthly statements and security-level transparency.

Like many managers Serure and von Furstenberg are conscious of potential investors’ interest in the firm’s stability through the financial crisis. “We are definitely receiving more detailed questions about our finance and operational infrastructure and we are happy to field them,” says von Furstenberg.

When discussing investor redemptions that they saw through the credit crisis, they echo a trend that Opalesque has observed in many recent interviews. Whereas prior to 2008 investment managers were loathe to discuss redemptions, Arrow Capital is quick to point out that they, like many firms had clients make redemption requests for myriad reasons.

Acknowledging this, they are able to then make a claim that only a limited number of managers can, “We did have redemptions and the assets were returned to investors. We did not suspend redemptions,” he says, noting the team has opted not to include the option for gates or side pocket vehicles in their offering documents. “One of the things I’m really proud of is the liquidity we are able to provide our clients given the liquid nature of our underlying investments.”


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Alexander von Furstenberg Featured on Hedge Funds Review

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Excerpts from “A Positive Turn of Events” by Kris Devasabai – Hedge Funds Review, 2/2/10

Investors are showing renewed interest in event driven hedge funds that aim to profit from the uncertainty surrounding corporate events such as mergers, acquisitions, spinouts and bankruptcies.

More than half the $13.8 billion in new capital allocated to hedge funds in the final quarter of 2009 was invested in event driven strategies, such as merger arbitrage and distressed debt funds, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research.

So long as debt markets continue to improve, M&A activity will remain robust through 2010, adds Alex von Furstenberg, co-portfolio manager at Arrow Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund that invests in event driven situations.

“Our analysis of balance sheets outside the financial sector suggests that many companies remained conservatively capitalised during the crisis and have sufficient resources to make accretive acquisitions or to be attractive buy-out candidates,” he says.

Arrow Capital Management has always taken an opportunistic approach to event driven investing, says von Furstenberg. “Our mandate has never been to purely focus on spin-offs, distressed or merger arbitrage trades. We have invested in those situations only when we believed they had the best risk-reward characteristics,” he says.

He says Arrow is currently focused on what it sees as the mispricing of strong, multi-national companies, rather than traditional event driven opportunities. “In our opinion, the valuations of some high quality companies still do not reflect the strength and sustainability of their earning power, especially those companies with exposure to developing markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China,” says von Furstenberg.

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AVF Underwrites Equipment Purchase for Use in Local Rescue Missions

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The Malibu Search & Rescue (MSAR) Team has announced a personal gift from Alexander von Furstenberg which has financed the purchase of rescue equipment critical to their efforts.  

MSAR is a non-profit, all volunteer organization comprised of Reserve Deputy Sheriffs and civilian volunteers who participate in the search and rescue of lost or injured persons within a 187 square mile section of the Santa Monica Mountains.  The Team is affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is a member of the Mountain Rescue Association.

Kevin Ryan, a 30-year member of the Team expanded upon MSAR’s volunteer efforts.  “The Team responds to all types of rescues: Lost or missing persons, stranded hikers, downed aircraft and hang gliders, vehicles over the side, brush fires, natural disasters and river rescues.  The Team also goes to schools in the area and gives search and rescue tips to the kids.”

Alex von Furstenberg’s $38,500 gift has enabled a complete outfitting of MSAR’s lead search vehicle.  Said Ryan, “This contribution will allow our team to fully equip a new rescue truck with all of the tools needed for a search and rescue operation.”

Of his contribution, Alex von Furstenberg said, “I am pleased to help strengthen the efforts of these volunteers who selflessly donate their time in order to assist people in imminent danger.  It is my hope that this equipment will help the Team ensure the safe rescue of all those who find themselves in unfortunate and urgent situations while exploring our community.”  

Alexander, an avid kite-surfer and active outdoorsman, resides in Malibu with his family.  In addition to his support of MSAR, Alex recently demonstrated his passion and concern for the well-being of his Southern-California community and its environment by pledging $150,000 over 3 years to sponsor Malibu’s comprehensive beach water quality program, the Beach Report Card.  Backed by Alex’s family’s foundation, The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, and Co-sponsored by the non-profit organization Heal The Bay, the Beach Report Card is California’s only program dedicated to the extensive analysis of water quality along its coastline.

ACM Appoints Ivan Wanat Director of Business Development

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Alternative investment manager Arrow Capital Management, LLC (“Arrow Capital”) today announced the appointment of Ivan Wanat to Director of Business Development.

Mr. Wanat will be responsible for leading the firm’s marketing and client service efforts with a focus on institutional investors and consultants. Mr. Wanat will report to Co-Managing Members Mal Serure and Alexander von Furstenberg.

“This new position at our firm marks a significant expansion of our business as we implement a marketing strategy to diversify our investor base,” said Mal Serure.

Alex von Furstenberg added, “We are very excited to bring Ivan on board as we continue to grow our organization. He brings a wealth of experience and a wide range of investor relationships from his past fundraising positions.”

Prior to joining Arrow Capital, Mr. Wanat was a Principal at Atlantic-Pacific Capital (“APC”), where he performed all aspects of capital raising for top-tier hedge fund managers, including hedge fund sourcing, due diligence, deal management and coordination of all marketing activities. Prior to his tenure at APC, Mr. Wanat spent two years as a placement agent in Credit Suisse’s Private Fund Group (2005-2007) and six years as an investment banker in J.P. Morgan’s Hedge Fund Coverage and Private Placement groups (1999-2005). Mr. Wanat earned his BBA in Finance at James Madison University and completed his MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business.


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