From FORTUNE:  
Latest status symbol: $600,000 aquarium
More hedge funds are investing in giant fish tanks as accessories.
By Matthew Boyle, FORTUNE contributor

(FORTUNE Magazine) - The latest must-have hedge fund accessory weighs a ton (literally), contains up to ten living creatures, and costs $600 a month - just for upkeep.

Aquariums, which were popular in the 1970s, are back. But forget the fish tanks in your dentist's office - these "installations," as they're called, take six months to complete and cost as much as $600,000.

SEA WORLD: A City Aquarium
SEA WORLD: A City Aquarium "installation" can cost up to $600,000.

The tanks feature specialized glass for better viewing, custom-made furniture crafted to accentuate the colors of the fish, live coral, and rare creatures like angelfish from New Caledonia, which sell for $3,000 each.

Angelfish "grunt and have very distinct personalities," says Justin Muir, co-owner and principal designer of New York-based City Aquarium. "They're more like pets."

Aqua-entrepreneur Muir has made a specialty of catering to the hedge fund crowd, who he says continually try to outdo one another. A native of the Massachusetts coastal town of Cohasset, Muir was a licensed lobsterman at age 8, studied marine biology in Hawaii, and previously raised eels in South Carolina.

City Aquarium, which he founded in 1999, now has a client roster that includes sultans, supermodels, Russian heiresses, Broadway producers, and an increasing number of hedge funds like SAC Capital Advisors and Sandell Asset Management (both declined to comment on their expensive toys).

"Aquariums are status symbols," says Muir, who has also designed aquariums for hedge fund managers' homes. "These guys say, 'Okay, if we are going to do [an aquarium], it has to be hot.' " So what's the hottest thing right now in hedgie tanks? Sharks, natch. The price: around $2,000 each.

_______________________________

How to live the Good Life:

 Top of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.