What's in a name? Richard Breeden is about to find out. Breeden, chairman of the Securities and Exchange between 1989 and 1993, is jumping on the activism bandwagon, prepping a new hedge fund for launch in January, according to industry sources. Now that's a big name. But is a name enough to raise hedge fund money? The traditional hedge fund crowd wants to see an investment track record when it comes to giving capital to a new manager. That explains how Eric Mindich, who ran Goldman Sachs' acclaimed risk-arbitrage desk, raised $3 billion at launch last year. It could also explain why Jack Meyer, the former chief investment officer of Harvard University, should have no problem with his new hedge fund. According to the newsletter Alternative Investment News, Meyer is expected to line up $4 billion to $6 billion at launch, making his start-up the biggest hedge fund launch ever. Both Mindich and Meyer are top-notch investors. But Breeden? He certainly has a strong pedigree in rehabilitating messy companies such as MCI ( MCIP) and Hollinger ( HLR), but some say that he has no track record as a manager and that will hurt his ability to raise money. It may even hurt all the more after some -- like now infamous Samuel Israel III of Bayou Management -- relied a little bit too much on the apparent credibility of their name. Israel's grandfather was a legend on Wall Street and those who invested with him got burned badly; Israel and Bayou's former chief financial officer Daniel Marino each pled guilty to defrauding investors. As a result of the Bayou mess, the "celebrity effect" may be on the wane. "I don't get it! Here is somebody who has no investment experience. Why would people give him money,?" asks Phil Goldstein, who manages Opportunity Partners, an activist hedge fund that has posted a 16% annualized return over the past 12 years with not one down year. Goldstein may be one of the rare managers to be vocal against a former SEC top gun. "People are afraid of the SEC. I am not," says Goldstein, who is suing the Commission over its upcoming hedge fund registration rule. But the stigma of the lack of investing experience is there nevertheless.