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Fortis buys Caribbean-based hedge fund firm

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GLOBAL – Fortis Prime Fund Solutions, the fund-servicing arm of Fortis Merchant Banking, has acquired Hedge Fund Services (HFS) for an undisclosed amount.

HFS, which is the largest fund administrator in the British Virgin Islands, becomes Fortis’ third Caribbean base in the hedge fund services industry, said Merchant Banking chief executive Filip Dierckx.

HFS is headed by director Michael Kane and has an 18-strong professional team. It had some €2bn in assets under administration at end-2005.

“Fortis wants to grow both organically and externally,” a Fortis spokesperson told IPE. “Externally, we make acquisitions depending on opportunities.”

She declined to comment on why HFS agreed to the acquisition deal. HFS could not be reached for comment.

“This transaction will have no material impact on Fortis’ solvency position or net profit per share,” said the spokesperson.

According to Fortis, it is to early to say whether there will be any staff changes or management shake-ups following the acquisition. The spokesperson added that HFS will be fully integrated and Michael Kane “will remain”.

Yesterday Fortis said 2005 net profit rose 45% to €3.5bn.

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