Despite having an ocean in its name and one located a (long) stone's throw from its front door in Irvine, Calif., Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co. is sponsoring a rowing team halfway around the world on an island in the Atlantic.
The hedge funds-of-funds manager is sponsoring the Oxford University Women's Boat Club, Oxford, England, during winter term this year. A PAAMCO staff member had an indirect connection with the club, which was invited to give a presentation about possible sponsorship to firm's U.K. staff, said Erik Bernhardt, associate director. "When they told us about the disparity of support for the men's and women's crews, we were really struck by it," Mr. Bernhardt said.
The team is made up of between 20 and 25 Oxford University students, who combine 30 hours of gym and rowing training a week with a rigorous academic schedule. The club was formed almost 80 years ago primarily to compete against female students from rival Cambridge University, but it now competes in all major rowing races in the United Kingdom and Europe, including the quintessential British rowing contest, the Henley Royal Regatta.
PAAMCO's sponsorship this year will help outfit the club in its next big contest, the University Boat Race against Cambridge on April 1.
"The club faces huge unavoidable costs each year … As a result of (PAAMCO's) generosity, we have been able to reduce the team's costs substantially and put some money aside to invest in much needed equipment repairs and upgrades," said Alex Cairns, club president, in a statement.