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The Globe and Mail

Lawrence Asset transforms into Navina Asset Management

Ravi Sood, Lawrence Asset Management

Lawrence Asset Management Inc., whose flagship hedge fund lost 80 per cent in 2008 and left a trail of irate investors that include author Peter Newman, is trying to make a comeback under a new name.

The Toronto-based asset management firm said Monday that it acquired the shares of Navina Capital Corp. in January, and the combined entities will be known as Navina Asset Management Inc.

With the amalgamation, Navina will run about 11 investment funds with about $330-million in assets under management. Ravi Sood, former chief executive officer at Lawrence and manager of the Lawrence Partners hedge fund, is now CEO of Navina.

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On the Navina Web site, there appears to be no mention of Mr. Sood's dismal-performing Lawrence Partners Fund. Instead, the investments listed include closed-end fund Global Agribusiness Trust that was launched by Navina in late 2007.

The fund, which went public at $10 a unit, included a trust unit and a warrant entitling the holder to buy a trust unit at $10 on or before 5 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2010.

Mr. Sood was bullish on agriculture stocks during a recent online discussion on Globe Investor and on Business News Network. Now, we know more about where his interest in this sector comes from.

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