PONTE VEDRA, Fla. - For four days last week, 300 CDO professionals took a bet on a relatively unknown conference company, Opal Financial, and descended upon this suburb of Jacksonville, Fla. for the firm's inaugural CDO Summit.

Opal combined the CDO Summit with it fourth annual Alternative Investing Summit, which is targeted toward hedge funds, increasing the total number of participants to 650, organizers said. And with the exception of some patches of rain, a basement resembling a hockey-rink locker room for booths, and mediocre hotel food, most attendees were not disappointed.

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