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Mind your hedge, it’s swelling

Star fund managers are not often noted for their modesty. Hedge fund managers even less so.

Dixon Boardman, managing director of New York's Optima Group, certainly doesn't suffer from lack of self-esteem. "Savvy investors have long known that the best and brightest money management talent can be found in hedge funds," he says, not referring to himself in any way, naturally.

In fact some investors may rank hedge fund managers alongside such other popular breeds as lawyers and journalists. After all, following Long-Term Capital Management's single-handed effort at nearly causing a global market meltdown in 1998, the term "hedge fund" now sounds a bit like "bubonic plague" to many people's ears.

However Boardman is keen to separate his business from the likes of LTCM. Optima manages $1.5 billion through sponsorship of multi-manager and single-manager hedge fund programmes.

"While attention has been focused on sensational headliners such as George Soros, Julian Robertson and Long-Term Capital Management, the reality is that these large macro funds of the past represent only the tip of the iceberg," says Boardman.

"The hedge fund industry is estimated at over 3,000 funds. Many of these produce consistent returns with little fanfare," he adds.

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