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Alternative Market Briefing

Banque Syz invested millions in Madoff, may refund lost money, Syz`s HF arm 3A to focus on macro/CTA, equity L/S funds this year

Monday, January 19, 2009

By the Opalesque Team: Geneva’s private bank Syz & Co is involved in the Madoff affair too, according to a report by Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps.

The bank bought stakes in the Thema International fund for its private clients. This Irish-domiciled SICAV was one of the main European vehicles linked to Madoff, which was represented in Switzerland by Genevalor Bebassat & Cie. Syz has invested tens of millions of Swiss francs in it.

Syz reportedly informed some of its clients, for whom it had made the decision to invest in Thema, that it would reimburse them the whole amount invested. The client who told to Le Temps about this said she had also invested with Aurelia Finance, which had also invested with Madoff, but which had not, to date, offered to refund the lost money. Syz’s spokesperson said there had not been a group decision to reimburse all investors and that he could not comment on a single case.

In October 2008, Syz & Co indicated that, between July and September, the AUM for funds and mandates at 3A (Syz’s hedge fund management arm), had decreased by about CHF400m ($354.5m), or 8%. For the month of September, Syz admitted that clients had asked to redeem CHF80m ($71m) from 3A.

In its recent Alternative Outlook report, 3A said that despite a good start in 2009, with a number of managers up strongly in January, the firm remained cautious in general about convertible bonds and credit markets since there was still not the liquidity that w......................

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