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Hedge Funds to Invest in Soccer Player Contracts
Bloomberg, October 27th, 2006 5PM

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Leave it to hedge funds to come up with new ways to invest. Whether it be wine, whiskey, commodities, or soccer players, if there's a high risk reward, you can bet there's a hedge fund out there willing to put money down on it. That's right, we said soccer players. For $470,000, two UK-registered hedge funds are offering investors the chance to buy a piece of the next superstar. How? Seems like Hero Investments and Sports Assets Capital, the two hedge funds in question, have taken one right out Iranian investor Kia Joorabchian's playbook: they're going to buy stakes in the contracts of promising young athletes, and then grab a slice of the expensive transfer fees clubs pay when they trade players who are still in contract. By taking part-ownership of up-and-coming players, in a similar vein to the way Joorabchian has invested in Argentine pair Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano of West Ham, the funds believe they will help smaller clubs compete for talent with larger rivals. ''It's fascinating, but you could easily burn your fingers,'' says Jacob Schmidt, founder of London-based hedge fund Schmidt Research Partners. ''Investing isn't about fun, it's about hard work. While I'm not against fun, the risk is that people who are amateurs might get involved.'' However, some fans will profit, while helping to bring more competition to the sport, the funds say. Read the original story...


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