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Alternative Market Briefing

PIPE fund Rockmore ends a decade posting +9.02% annualized returns and sees more opportunities in diminished space

Monday, January 10, 2011

From Kirsten Bischoff, Opalesque New York:

Is it possible to be both obscure and famous at the same time? Certainly anyone who manages a PIPE fund might say so. Private investments into public equity (PIPE) funds regularly face an uphill battle educating investors. The term PIPE fund has grown more widely recognizable by its recent association with investigations and scandals. This perception, along with the global financial crisis, have taken their toll on PIPE funds and made what was always a small space even smaller. But the remaining funds - ones with track records of performance and transparency - have benefitted from the shrinking space. With the demand for PIPE financing undiminished and growing, the remaining funds have more opportunities than ever to make quality investments.

Investors recognize that PIPEs are an efficient way to finance publicly traded companies. Warren Buffet did a PIPE to acquire his investment in Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Government did a PIPE to acquire its position in Citi Bank.

Bruce Bernstein, who runs Rockmore Capital, a New York-based PIPE fund, focuses on investments in small cap companies. "There isn't a great deal of positive media coverage on our strategy, but there are many positive unreported results that we facilitate, such as funding for new products in the Life Sciences sector, specifically biotechnology," Bernstein said.

Bernstein and Partner Brian Daly have managed Rockmore since April 2006. Prior ......................

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