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Opalesque Roundtable Series - Brazil 2008

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Brazil-based hedge fund managers, fund of funds and family office believe the country is now getting ahead of the pack compared to its emerging market peers.

Brazil has enough foreign reserves to pay down all the public foreign debt. This is the first time the country is in such a condition. In the last crisis in 1998, China was the only country which had sound fundamentals and they could maneuver their monetary policy to keep the country growing, despite the fact that all of the economies in the region were going down by 10% or 15% in GDP. Managers believe that this time Brazil has exactly the same characteristics.

Opalesque, the world's largest subscription-based publisher covering the alternative investment industry, has once again united leading hedge fund managers and investors in its Brazil Roundtable, which took place Oct. 22nd 2008 at the Sao Paolo office of Bulltick Brokerage, who also sponsored the event.

Highlights from the Opalesque Brazil Roundtable:

  • Hedge fund managers forecast 3% or more growth in Brazil - will the money flow back into the country? Which strategies will benefit first?
  • No systemic risk: banking and corporate sector unleveraged, efficient regulation ensures banks are well capitalized
  • But: while retail lending is still completely open and set for a 10-15% growth - no bank has reduced the credit lines and the amount of money available for retail investors, corporations are in a classic liquidity trap with funds being locked in at the bank level
  • Brazilian family offices and FoFs expect a surge of new managers to set up shop to profit from current dislocations
  • The global hedge fund industry is now a buyers' market and no longer a sellers' market. What does this mean for managers and investors?
  • The concept of hedge funds as "absolute return" vehicles or "alpha machines" has been disproved. What is the future?
  • A continuation of the liquidity discussion (see http:// www.opalesque.com/index.php?act=static&and=RoundtableNORDIC)
The following experts participated at the Roundtable:
  1. Luiz Felipe Pinheiro de Andrade, managing director of UAM
  2. Mauricio Levi, founding partner of Fama Investimentos
  3. Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, founding partner of Mauá Investimentos
  4. Walter Maciel, partner, Quest Investimentos
  5. Sergio Goldman, Bulltick partner and head of equity research
  6. Patrick de Picciotto, partner of M Square
  7. George Wachsmann - partner at multi-family office BAWM Investments
  8. Otávio de Magalhães Coutinho Vieira, Director of Investments at Safdié Private Banking
  9. Antonio Martin, partner at multi-family office GPS
Background on the Brazilian hedge fund industry:

Latin America accounts for 8% of the world’s GDP and 8.5% of the world’s population. The majority of Latin American hedge funds are focused on Brazilian markets, where most of the assets and managers are based.

Latin America is still under-represented within the global hedge fund industry. With an estimated US$45bn of assets and 169 hedge fund managers, it represents less than 2% of the total universe. However, contrary to most other hedge fund jurisdictions, Brazil has developed a diverse and well regulated onshore hedge fund industry.

About 75% of the hedge fund assets run by Brazilian managers are in the multimercado funds, the onshore vehicles. According to GFIA, ANBID and Eurekahedge, 87 Brazil based hedge fund firms manage 225 onshore funds with $29,399m of assets. Meanwhile, 43 Brazil based hedge fund firms manage 68 offshore funds with $10,187 m of assets (as of end July 2008).

Strategy breakdown for all (on and offshore) Brazil funds, as of August 2008 in % of assets:

  • Macro/multistrategy: 50.4%
  • Long-short equities: 23.0%
  • Event-driven: 14.7%
  • Fixed income: 9.5%
  • Relative value: 1.7%
  • Others: 0.7%
Transparency and Regulation:

Brazil's hedge industry was really started by the mutual funds industry, which means that a very transparent and regulated industry has been created. Many funds publish the NAV on a daily basis.

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