Today before the opening bell,, Inc. announced that it has acquired Weston Capital Management, LLC, an originator and distributor of hedge funds. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL., Weston Capital earns fees on assets exceeding $1.0 billion under management.

Weston Capital has three lines of business: originating and marketing fund of funds; originating and marketing single-manager hedge funds; and raising capital to seed new hedge funds. Earlier this year, Weston Capital and Harcourt AG formed a strategic alliance for investment manager identification and fund seeding. Harcourt, a $4.5 billion alternative investments manager that is majority owned by Vontobel Group, the $70 billion Swiss banking group, is recognized as a leading global advisor of alternative investments for institutional investors.

Weston Capital founder Albert Hallac will continue to serve as CEO of Weston Capital, directing its day-to-day operations and business strategy. In addition, Chairman Joseph J. Bianco will become Chairman of Weston Capital. In addition to its Florida headquarters, Weston Capital also has offices in London and New York City. CEO Gregory Webster and Weston Capital CEO Albert Hallac stated, “We believe with the Weston Capital operations when aligned with’s majority interest in AdvisorShares, a developer and marketer of actively managed ETFs, will be able to significantly accelerate increases of assets under management since it now has the ability to seed, originate and distribute hedge funds as well as seed, originate, develop and distribute actively traded ETFs to institutional and retail investors. AdvisorShares, Bethesda, MD, is one of the few companies that has been able to obtain approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to create actively managed ETFs. The ETF sector has assets more than $1 trillion and is the fastest growing segment of the fund management industry.”

Webster added, “With Weston Capital’s proven capability to seed new fund products, combined with its seasoned global institutional sales force, is now positioned to capture revenue streams from an array of hedge fund and actively managed ETFs. Importantly, Weston has the global institutional relationships that can capitalize on AdvisorShares patent-pending exchange-traded fund platform as well as powerful distribution capability among institutions worldwide.”

AdvisorShares CEO Noah Hamman commented, “Weston and AdvisorShares are perfectly complementary and we are looking forward to working with Weston to originate ETFs as well as help other managers launch their own ETFs and to market our actively managed ETFs to institutions worldwide with the expertise of Weston Capital’s established sales force. These activities will greatly expand our footprint in the rapidly growing market of actively traded ETFs.”

Hallac said, “Weston anticipates that with greater resources and an entry to the fast-growing ETF market, we will offer our existing and potential clients a broader range of financial investment opportunities. In particular, we see great potential for growing our assets under management and related fee income by expanding our seeding platform to include the origination and development of new actively managed ETFs.”

Under the Harcourt alliance, Weston Capital and Harcourt will seed and develop new hedge fund businesses through Weston Capital’s incubation platform. The partnership combines Weston’s extensive experience in early stage hedge fund investing and marketing with Harcourt’s proven investment expertise in global manager selection, due diligence and risk management.

Since early 2004, Weston Capital’s hedge fund seeding platform (via the Weston-Atlas Partners Fund and the Weston Capital Partners Fund II) has provided sponsor capital for 13 emerging hedge fund managers. Weston aims to raise $250 million for its third incubation fund, Partners III, which will seed both hedge funds and actively managed ETFs, with Harcourt providing investment infrastructure and risk management.

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