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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Three new strategies in hedge fund investor relations; investors demand a relationship – not a transaction

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The following is an edited transcript of a presentation Thomas Walek, President of a New York-based public relations agency Walek & Associates, gave recently in Hong Kong to a group of hedge fund managers and investor relations executives:

Our topic is "Hedge Fund Investor Relations: New Demands, New Strategies." The following are some observations that guide my thinking on the issues and trends impacting hedge fund investor relations today.

So where do we start? Like all good things, let's start on the golf course What a great place to be and what a great place to do business. At a panel sponsored by Institutional Investor magazine in January of this year and attended by some 50 marketing executives from many of the leading hedge funds in the world, my firm spoke about investor relations and investor communications. Overall, the audience was frustrated and confused about its inability to communicate with clients, retain clients or raise new capital. To quote one industry observer, "the environment is brutal, just brutal."

One senior delegate summed up the feeling of the audience when he said, "I can't wait for things to get back to normal so we can get back on the golf course and get some business done."

I have four initial observations for you today... and they start right here. Put the golf clubs away!

We are not going back to normal, whatever that was one or two years ago. Chaos and turmoil are destroying the old world and defining a......................

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