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Investors in Failed Bear Stearns Hedge Funds Join Forces for Independent Inquiry

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com, London

05 November 2007


Investors who lost hundreds of millions of dollars when two Bear Stearns hedge funds collapsed in August are joining forces to replace Bear Stearns affiliates and designees as managing parties of the failed entities and set the stage for a thorough independent inquiry, it has emerged.

Institutional and private investors have joined together seeking the necessary proxies from investors representing at least 50.1% of holdings in each of the funds. Two separate votes are scheduled - first for the US fund, then for the overseas, Cayman-based fund. Shares held by Bear Stearns or its affiliates cannot be voted in the elections.

The campaign is aimed at replacing Bear Stearns affiliates and designees with FTI Capital Advisers, LLC, a FINRA-registered broker/dealer, and wholly-owned subsidiary of FTI Consulting, Inc. FTI specializes in forensic accounting and investigations, and would conduct an independent investigation into how the two funds, which once had equity value in excess of $650 million, were decimated and appear to have been rendered worthless.

To augment FTICA's expertise, Bart Schwartz, former Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, has been nominated to serve alongside FTICA in managing the overseas fund.

Lance Gotthoffer, a partner with the law firm Reed Smith, which represents shareholders with over 25% of the two funds, noted that "from the feedback we are getting, we believe we are close to having the necessary support to make it happen, but it is critical that every investor's vote be counted. For those who are not yet aware of the elections, or who may not be able to attend in person, our clients have arranged for a representative to carry proxies into the election."

Investors in the US Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, L.P. will vote to replace the General Partner on Wednesday, November 7 in Manhattan.

A second vote to replace the Directors of the Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage (Overseas) Ltd. fund is set for a week later, Wednesday, November 14, in London.

According to Mr. Gotthoffer, if this unprecedented campaign is successful, FTICA and Bart Schwartz would assume legal responsibility to act in the best interests of all investors - not just the group that nominated them. "It is too early to speculate on what FTICA and Mr. Schwartz might find, but we are confident that they will work diligently to maximize recoveries for creditors and investors of the funds," Gotthoffer observed.


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