Former hedge fund manager Ed Matuszak has been named president of Advoca Equity, a new division of Akron-based Signet Enterprises that will raise equity capital for real estate development and corporate acquisitions.

Signet, a private equity firm that does real estate development and corporate
transactions, made the announcement this week.

Advoca Equity, based in Akron, is a subsidiary of Signet’s broker-dealer, Advoca Securities LLC. It will raise equity for deals originated by both Signet Enterprises and by third parties, and is the equity complement to Signet’s debt-raising arm, Advoca Capital.

Mr. Matuszak will seek to raise capital from a local, national and international network including insurance companies, corporate pension funds, endowment funds, and foundations and family offices, or firms that manage money for high net-worth families, according to a Signet news release.

The growth in the number and size of Signet’s deals necessitates bringing more equity from third parties to the table, said CEO Anthony Manna in describing why the company created the Advoca Equity division.

“We have to do it now and get ready for what’s coming down the road,” Mr. Manna said.

Mr. Matuszak has 20 years of investment management experience. He most recently was a portfolio manager of Lake Front Partners LP, a Beachwood hedge fund he co-founded in 2005 that was shuttered in December 2011 following poor performance during 2011, which was, by most accounts, a challenging year for hedge funds.

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