Oria Capital has been purchased by the Swiss banking group SYZ & Co for an undisclosed sum. Oria will be renamed 3A Asia and will constitute part of SYZÆs alternative division, 3A SA, which specializes in hedge fund analysis and alternative portfolio management. Globally, 3A manages $2.5 billion in hedge fund assets and provides research and due diligence on $3.7 billion in alternative investments.

OriaÆs CEO, Jennifer Carver, says, ôWe have three Oria products, namely the Oria Commodity Fund, the Oria Asia Fund and the Oria Plus Fund; and we also manage four structured notes for Deutsche Bank. We currently have $50 million under management. We will be concentrating on raising assets for our existing funds and 3AÆs existing funds before we launch anything new. All staff are staying around in their usual capacities and we have no plans to hire anyone else at this point.ö

The Oria Asia and Oria Plus vehicles are multi-strategy funds of hedge funds with Asian and global coverage respectively. In the first 11 months of 2006 the Asian fund was up 7.3% and the global fund rose 9.7%.

The Oria Commodity fund had a bonanza in that period, rising 37%. That fund was only formally established in mid 2006, so those return statistics incorporate those of its predecessor fund, a $320 million Master Fund that had been in place since 2004.

The acquirer, SYZ & Co is based in Geneva and focuses on asset management, specializing in private banking and investment funds in addition to its alternatives activities.

The acquisition marks a happy ending for Oria, which was the untainted business spun out of Charles Schmitt & Associates, whose principal, Charles Schmitt, was arrested and jailed for embezzling client funds in 2004, thanks to his honest colleaguesÆ whistle-blowing.