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Patricia Campbell
Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (PFGBEST)
(312) 775-3411


PFG’s Annual CTA Challenge Begins May 1
Second Annual Competition Identifies Emerging CTA Talent --
Offers $1 Million Allocation to Winner

CHICAGO, April 5, 2004 – Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) today announced that its second annual CTA Challenge begins on May 1, 2004. The CTA Challenge 2004 competition identifies emerging CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) talent by sponsoring a venue to showcase new trading strategies and techniques. It is a product of an alliance created in early 2003 between Trader Source, Inc. (TSI) and PFG .

The winner of the Challenge is eligible to receive a US $1 million real trading account allocation from institutional investors selected by the PFG/TSI alliance. Each entrant’s performance is measured by a risk-adjusted return on a US $50,000 real trading account. For purposes of this competition, which runs from May 1 to October 30, 2004, emerging CTAs are defined as those having less than US $15 million in assets.

Winners in the CTA Challenge 2003, out of a field of more than 30 CTAs, were Villano Capital and Arthur Aschauer. Villano Capital has taken the next step into managed funds with the investment from PFG and TSI. Mr. Aschauer, a private individual, was awarded an allocation from one of PFG’s proprietary accounts for his close, second-place finish in the competition.

“PFG’s objectives in creating and sponsoring the CTA Challenge annually are two-fold,” according to Neil J. Aslin, president of PFG and president of the PFG Global Funds Division. “We want to identify high-quality emerging fund managers and, further, increase distribution of a portfolio of managed products that are ideal for both institutional and retail markets, ranging from single-manager to multiple-CTA-managed accounts and funds.” Last year’s Challenge winner, Villano Capital, now is included in PFG’s manager line-up, he said.

“One of PFG’s strategic initiatives is to continue to press further into the area of structuring consistent-return, low-volatility products using carefully selected multiple managers who have low correlations with each other and, of course, to have them closely monitored by a professional consultant group that builds and runs managed funds as its core business,” Aslin stated.

Money flowing into managed futures in the U.S. has been increasing at a record pace. During the fourth quarter of 2003, it reached $86.5 billion, a 15-percent increase ($11.5 billion) from the previous quarter and a 70-percent increase (about $35.5 billion) compared with fourth quarter 2002.

“Sensing this growth several years ago, it made ultimate sense for PFG to move into this sphere, adding a new, key area of concentration,” said Aslin. “The Challenge developed logically from this realization and is a unique way to showcase our firm’s commitment. Again this year, we are eager to see which groups will demonstrate the skill and execution to move to the top of the Challenge.”

Noted Russ Wasendorf, PFG chairman and CEO: “The CTA world has been largely neglected by major institutions, which have focused their sights on the larger hedge fund class without recognizing that many of the premier closed hedge funds started out as CTAs. Our alliance seizes upon this void in the marketplace.”

TSI, a registered Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and CTA, has an established track record of identifying and providing exposure for emerging CTAs to increase their assets under management. The PFG/TSI alliance speeds PFG’s and TSI’s ability to distribute quality, institutional-type alternative investments to PFG’s retail investor base, whose needs to date have been largely unaddressed.

PFG is a futures commission merchant with brokerage and branch offices around the world. It offers a diverse range of trading and investor products and services. The company, headquartered in Chicago, is a leader in alternative investment vehicles, managed funds, FOREX, broker-assisted trading, educational programs, research, and direct, online futures trading through BEST Direct™. For more information, visit


Note: Ongoing results for the Challenge will be posted on PFG’s website at