It's a rare day when a hedge fund manager admits he's never heard of an asset type. But that's just what Ray Schuville, a managing director and private client advisor at U.S. Trust, heard from a client earlier this year.

The manager was looking for a way to lower the risk of the large personal stake he had in his own fund. He had been using short-dated Treasuries and cash for that purpose, but was looking for something that could generate income and be "really non-correlating" with his hedge fund, Schuville says.

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