Aether Systems Inc., Owings Mills, Md., has hired FBR Investment Management Inc. to assist it in assembling and managing a leveraged portfolio of mortgage-backed securities.Aether said the move is "part of an evolving strategy initially designed to increase the yield on its excess cash balances and ultimately representing what could become a more significant business activity for Aether in the future." Aether plans to invest up to $75 million of its current cash and to leverage this amount between five and eight times to assemble an initial portfolio of $450 million to $675 million in value. The company can be found online at http://www.aethersystems.com.

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