BlackRock Inc. announced yesterday it is expanding its hedge-fund business through the acquisition of HPB Management LLC, a New York fund of hedge funds manager.

HPB has just $150 million under management, primarily with wealthy individuals. But it represents BlackRock’s first foray into funds that pool investors’ money to invest in other hedge funds, a product that has a lot of appeal for first-time hedge-fund investors. Funds of funds can provide exposure to a diverse array of hedge-fund strategies for relatively small sums.

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