Imperium Partners Group was launched today by Jeffrey E. Devers, John C. Michaelson and James R. Hedges IV. Mr. Hedges said the firm will create a hybrid alternative investment strategy combining elements of private equity and hedge funds in making strategic investments in public and private small-cap and midcap growth companies. The firm will centralize research and all employees will be offered a stake in the company, Mr. Hedges said. "Private equity and hedge funds are at a convergence point and are becoming a new kind of investment. We will be offering that new kind of investment model to institutional investors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals," Mr. Hedges said. A series of commingled funds are planned.
Mr. Devers was president of The Palladin Group, which was closed in 2002; the firm has been winding down its less liquid investments, said Mr. Hedges.
Mr. Michaelson was vice chairman of Needham & Co. and president of Needham Investment Management and the Needham Funds. A spokesman for Needham & Co. who asked not to be identified said the firm is reviewing its options for a replacement and that George Needham and James Kloppenburg have assumed oversight of the asset management unit.
Mr. Hedges created LJH Global Investments and is its president and CIO. The firm will continue to offer hedge fund advisory services to existing clients only. LJH's other main activity - principal investing in private equity, venture capital and distressed securities - will be moved to Imperium Partners.