CHICAGO, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (PFG), in cooperation with Trader Source, Inc. (TSI), today announced Villano Capital and Arthur Aschauer as the winners of the "CTA Challenge 2003." Trading firm Villano Capital receives a $1 million allocation as first place winner, and will take the next step into managed funds with the investment from PFG and TSI. Mr. Aschauer, a private individual, will also receive an allocation from one of PFG's proprietary accounts for his close, second-place finish in the competition. The Challenge began in May 2003 and ended on October 30. It was the first product of the alliance between PFG and TSI, an initiative to develop emerging Commodity Trading Advisors -- those managing less than $10 million in assets. The goal of CTA Challenge 2003 was to give entrants a chance to showcase their skills and talents to PFG and TSI. Villano Capital achieved a 26.39 percent total risk-adjusted return for the six-month period, with 1.28 percent daily standard deviation. Led by principal Richard Villano, Villano Capital traded a global diversified, systematic, trend-following program that uses 60 different futures contracts. The sectors represented by those futures contracts traded on a variety of global exchanges include currency, metals, interest rates, grains, energy, and softs. Aschauer's return of 71.46 percent for the duration of the CTA Challenge 2003 was offset by a higher risk-adjusted volatility of 3.98 percent standard daily deviation. Announcing the CTA Challenge 2003 results, PFG President Neil J. Aslin said the contest results were in line with expectations and that the Challenge would be offered again in 2004. "Our objectives in launching the CTA Challenge 2003 were to identify quality emerging fund managers, and to increase distribution of a portfolio of managed products that are ideal for both institutional and retail markets, ranging from single-manager to multiple-CTA-managed accounts and funds. Villano Capital will now be added to our manager line-up as we continue to press further into the area of structuring high-return, low-volatility products managed by specially selected multiple CTAs with low performance correlations." "We see this as an extremely important and growing area of our futures and securities business," Aslin said. TSI, a registered Commodity Pool Operator and Commodity Trading Advisor, has an established track record of identifying and providing exposure for emerging CTAs to increase their assets under management. Noted David Welch, TSI president and CEO, "The PFG/TSI alliance increases our ability to distribute quality, institutional-type alternative investments to retail investors, whose needs to date have been largely unaddressed. We believe our strengths in identifying and developing quality alternative managers, particularly in the CTA area, coupled with PFG's distribution strengths, fill a significant void in the marketplace. The CTA world has been largely neglected by major institutions, which have focused their sights on the larger hedge fund class without recognizing that many of the premier closed hedge funds started out as CTAs. The strategic alliance with PFG is an important step in filling this void." PFG is a futures commission merchant with brokerage and branch offices around the world. It offers a diverse range of trading and investor products and services. The company, headquartered in Chicago, is a leader in alternative investment vehicles, managed funds, FOREX, broker-assisted trading, educational programs, research, and direct, online futures trading through BEST Direct. For more information, visit www.pfgbest.com .
SOURCE Peregrine Financial Group, Inc.