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Ex-Amaranth Trader Lands Consulting Gig

Brian Hunter shows up as an adviser to a new commodities trading fund.

Trading in energy securities can be a dicey affair -- particularly during hurricane season, when a Category 5 storm can prove a category killer for an ill-timed gas trade bet.

So it only makes sense when launching a new investment vehicle to select a consultant who knows how to navigate the minefield, right?

Wrong, at least in the case of a new commodities trading hedge fund run by private equity firm Peak Ridge Capital. The fund seems to prefer someone who has felt a bit of pain.

According to energy trading Web site

Sparkspread.com

, Peak Ridge has hired infamous gas trader Brian Hunter as a consultant. Hunter is notorious for having upended hedge fund Amaranth Advisors on wrong-way gas bets.

Most recently, the Commodity Future Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filed suits alleging that Hunter attempted to manipulate the price of gas on the

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and in other markets.

All this would appear to make Hunter eminently unsuitable for trading guidance. But his success in raising funds and generally getting people to listen to him after his Amaranth blowup is becoming uncanny.

Hunter is shelling out about $10 million of his own money in the Peak Ridge hedge fund and will advise on gas trades, crude oil and electricity options, according to

Sparkspread.com

.

All the regulatory wrangling has sullied his image and could impede his ability to raise cash for his own funds, the trader claims -- so consulting may be the next best thing.