Wells Fargo buys 35% stake in Rock Creek hedge-fund firm

Alternative Assets

“They have the capacity to be completely invested in all sorts of alternative-asset managers but they are very selective and choosy,” D’Cunha said in a phone interview. “This is a conservative way to go about it.”

Rock Creek has grown assets under management by 89 percent since the end of 2008, when the firm had $3.7 billion of investors’ money, according to Niedermeyer. Assets could grow to more than $10 billion by the end of 2013, D’Cunha said.

In 2010, Rock Creek received $200 million to invest for the New York state pension fund, the third-largest in the U.S. at the time. The firm lost money for New Jersey’s pension system in 2006 with an investment in Amaranth Advisors LLC, a hedge fund that imploded with wrong-way bets on natural gas.

Beschloss, who is married to presidential historian Michael Beschloss, and other Rock Creek employees will continue to own 65 percent of the firm. She left the World Bank in 2001 after managing $65 billion in assets and $160 billion in notional derivatives exposure, according to the statement.

All of Rock Creek’s clients are qualified institutional investors, Niedermeyer said. Wells Fargo eventually may seek to make its strategies available to retail investors, he said.

Wells Fargo asset management caters to institutional clients such as pensions and endowments, sovereign-wealth funds and companies. It also offers mutual funds for retail investors and is separate from the bank’s wealth-management unit, which houses a retail brokerage and manages funds for individuals.

Bloomberg News

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