NEW YORK, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyBridge Capital, which provides strategic capital to new and early-stage hedge funds, and Challenger Financial Services Group Limited (ASX: CGF), a leading Australian financial services company, today jointly announced an agreement to form a long-term strategic relationship focused on the launch of the first global institutional hedge fund seeding and alternative investment management platform. In conjunction with the new strategic relationship, Challenger will make a significant capital commitment to the SkyBridge funds. As part of their new strategic relationship, Challenger will support SkyBridge in penetrating new markets in the Australasia region to source both new capital as well as talented hedge fund managers. Challenger will make available to SkyBridge its world-class investment and due diligence team. In addition, Challenger's Richard Howes, Principal Executive Officer - Balance Sheet Asset Management, will become a member of the SkyBridge Investment Committee. Anthony Scaramucci, Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, said, "Over the past two years, we have built SkyBridge Capital into one of the leading strategic investors in new hedge fund managers, and today SkyBridge and its underlying managers have approximately $1.5 billion under management. Our new relationship with Challenger Financial Services Group, an established participant in the Australian financial services sector, will allow us to dramatically extend our ability to source top managers globally, broadening the depth of our talent pool. Also, through Challenger, we will have a significant new distribution channel in Australia, positioning our partnership to capitalize on the current and expected growth of alternative asset investments there." Richard Howes, a Challenger executive, said, "Our new relationship with SkyBridge Capital follows our extensive evaluation of the hedge fund seeding space. We believe SkyBridge has created a unique, differentiated platform that presents an optimal opportunity for creating outsized returns for investors. We are fortunate to partner with Anthony Scaramucci and Scott Prince, SkyBridge's Managing Partners. Anthony and Scott each bring over 20 years of distinguished accomplishments in the Investment Management industry and have a unique set of talents that differentiate SkyBridge in its ability to source talented investment managers, manage complex global risks and grow a global distribution platform. Furthermore, we believe their distribution capability will be critical in attracting top-tier talent onto the platform. We are excited to work closely together with the SkyBridge team to capture the significant opportunity that we believe exists in this arena globally." The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008. SkyBridge also announced today that it plans to open in the third quarter of 2008 a London office that will serve as the firm's center for sourcing Europe-based managers and investors and will continue to add to the firm's global footprint. About Challenger Financial Services Group Limited Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Challenger is a diversified financial services organisation. It is dedicated to providing smarter solutions to financial intermediaries and their clients, offering a broad spectrum of financial products and services with A$45 billion of assets under management as at 31 March 08. Challenger's asset management division, which has assets under management of A$10.4 billion as at 31 March 08, has particularly strong expertise in infrastructure, real estate and fixed income and continues to develop specialist funds for institutional and retail investors. It is also a proprietary investor in its own right, raising capital through retail and wholesale annuities and other sources to invest in assets which are under valued for risk or have value add potential. Through the development of strategic relationships with key international partners Colony Capital LLC, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Challenger sees significant growth opportunities in the future. About SkyBridge Capital SkyBridge Capital is a private investment partnership that provides strategic capital to talented managers who are developing new or early-stage hedge funds. The firm's team of experienced professionals coordinates a global network of partners in sourcing hedge fund managers and providing business-building and investment-support services from its headquarters in New York. To date, SkyBridge Capital has made strategic investments in nine funds. In aggregate, SkyBridge Capital and its underlying managers currently have approximately $1.5 billion under management.
Contact: Victor M. Oviedo SkyBridge Capital Tel: 212-485-3118 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE SkyBridge Capital