Singapore Hedge Fund

Alternative asset management in Singapore

Singapore consults hedge funds on stricter regulations

From the Wealth Bulletin, news that Singapore’s central bank is holding informal talks with hedge fund executives on ways to toughen up the regulatory regime for the city-state’s growing alternative investment sector, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Industry sources say ideas being deliberated upon in the discussions include the introduction of minimum requirements for asset size, professionally qualified employees, working capital and professional indemnity arrangements.

Wealth Bulletin

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25 biggest hedge funds in Asia

Asia’s 25 biggest hedge funds in 2009
1..Sparx Group (Tokyo) US$4.82bn
2. Value Partners (HK) US$3.19bn
3. Artradis Fund Management (Singapore) US$2.722bn
4. ADM Capital (HK) US$2.2bn
5. Arisaig Partners (Singapore) US$1.996bn
6. Penta Investment Advisers (HK) US$1.910bn
7. Pacific Alliance Investment Management (HK) US$1.450bn
8. Target Asset Management (Singapore) US$1.400bn
9. Aisling Analytics (Singapore) US$1.186bn
10. Ortus Capital Management (HK) US$805m
11. LIM Advisors (HK) US$800m
12. Tree Line Investment Management (HK) US$760m
13. JL Capital (Singapore) US$618m
14. Sofaer Capital (HK) US$610m
15. Symphony Financial Partners (Singapore) US$600m
16. Asia Genesis Asset Management (Singapore) US$599m
17. Tower Investment Management (Tokyo) US$581m
18. Ward Ferry Management (HK) US$575m
19. Income Partners Asset Management (HK) US$520m
20. Lapp Capital (Singapore) US$500m
21. UG Investment Advisers (Singapore) US$496m
22. Argyle Street Management (HK) US$458m
23. Abax Global Capital (HK) US$455m
24. Brooke Capital (HK) US$450m
25. Asuka Asset Management (Tokyo) US$428m
Source: this document

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Singapore-based Hedge Fund, LionRock Capital, Eyes Family Offices, Endowments

According to Total Alternatives, Hari Kumar, co-founder of Singapore-based LionRock Capital, has begun approaching investors for its recently launched LionRock Master Fund. The multi-strategy fund launched on June 15 with $75 million of partners’ capital, but now Kumar, along with co-founders Ben Freischmidt and Julian Snaiph, are approaching family offices, endowments and funds of funds. The capacity is $1 billion.
Total Alternatives

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Korean Firms Found Hedge Fund Platforms in Singapore and Hong Kong

From FINalternatives, news of the build up of hedge fund platforms in Singapore and in Hong Kong.

As the Asian hedge fund industry rises from the ashes of last year’s huge losses and huge redemptions, a number of Korean financial services firms are hoping to play middleman in the resurgent space.

Kookmin Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Samsung Securities and Woori Investment & Securities have earmarked more than US$1 billion to build up hedge fund platforms for institutional investors, Asian Investor reports. Woori and Samsung have set up their platforms in Singapore, while Kookmin has opted for Asia’s hedge fund capital, Hong Kong.

Hwang Sung-ho, CEO of Woori I&S, said the firm’s platform is small, but that it is investing substantial resources into building it up. The firm hopes it will be the centerpiece of a multi-asset strategy group.

Woori is also creating a hedge fund index, AI reports.

FINalternatives

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New Asia-focused team at FrontPoint

FrontPoint Partners hired a new Asia-focused event-driven and special situations hedge fund investment team, led by portfolio manager John Foo.

The Singapore-based team all came from Kingsmead Capital Advisors, which Mr. Foo founded.

Joining him is Edgar Chia, analyst, and Hubert Yong, trader; they held similar positions at Kingsmead Capital, according to a FrontPoint news release.

Kingsmead Capital liquidated its similarly managed Asian hedge fund in July 2008, said Erica Platt, a spokeswoman for FrontPoint’s parent, Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

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Hong Kong based hedge fund Tarascon hires new COO from Singapore

From Asian Investor, news of Roger Lee, the previous head of Nikko Asset Management’s Singapore office, who has joined Tarascon Capital, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund.

Tarascon was established in March 2007 by Jonathan Iu, its CIO, to manage an Asia-Pacific equity long/short strategy, with Morgan Stanley as its prime broker. The fund was a rare success story in 2008, gaining 7% when most other long/short strategies in the region were losing money.

Tarascon now manages around $30 million on behalf of individuals and US-based funds of funds. Iu is keen to build on last year’s success but realised the need to augment his small team of three, which includes a head of research and an operations and administration specialist.

Hence the decision to hire Lee as a managing partner. Lee will serve in Hong Kong as COO and run the business on a day-to-day basis, as well as handle client servicing and marketing. “Investors are looking again at hedge funds,” Iu says. “Capital raising is still difficult, but we want to approach more funds of funds and institutional investors. We felt we needed an experienced COO to enhance our appeal to such investors.”

Lee has 16 years in the funds industry. Prior to Nikko AM, where he handled business development for Asia ex-Japan, he worked at a number of other investment firms. These include SBC Brinson/UBS Asset Management, Dresdner Private Banking,  Allianz Asset Management and Columbia Management, the funds arm of Bank of America.

Following Lee’s departure from Nikko Asset Management, the firm has appointed Ng Soo-nam to run the Singapore business.

The Asian Investor

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Singapore-based hedge fund, Nalanda Capital, is said to be offloading its stake in outsourcing firm WNS Global Services.

From The Economic Times in India, news that a Singapore-based hedge fund, Nalanda Capital is said to be following private equity firm, Warburg Pincus in offloading its stake in outsourcing firm WNS Global Services.

A person familiar with the development told The Economic Times in India that Nalanda Capital has put its 12.3% in WNS on the block. The person requested anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media.  This comes a day after ET reported that PE firm Warburg Pincus has held initial talks to offload its 50.12% in WNS for an exit amount of $400 million. The transaction would value the BPO at $800 million.

While Merrill Lynch is believed to be advising Warburg on the stake sale, sources said Nalanda hasn’t appointed a banker but would just go with the seller that Warburg identifies. Since it owns less than a fifth in WNS, Nalanda would have lesser bargaining powers when it comes to price. Sources also said that apart from private equity firms such as Blackstone, Nasdaq-listed IT firm Cognizant is a likely suitor for WNS and will shortly kick off the due diligence process.

Considering that Nalanda Capital picked up a stake in WNS only last year, it wasn’t immediately clear why Nalanda Capital is selling its stake in the firm. “Nalanda Capital is structured like a hedge fund, so it does not have any long-term obligations to stay invested. Also, it will be the right time to exit as they would make a profit,” said an official from the private equity industry, who did not wish to be named.

It is pretty active in the open market and has bought shares in Mastek Global, Carborundrum Universal, Triveni Engineering, Kirloskar Engines Sun TV and Mindtree. Nalanda typically buys shares in multiple lots and tends to pick up 7-8% in any company they invest in.  The hedge fund initially picked up 5.25% in WNS last March and has upped its stake over the last year to become WNS’ third-biggest shareholder with 12.3%. While Warburg Pincus owns 50.44%, the second-biggest is Fidelity Management & Research with 12.37%.

The Economic Times

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Event at Singapore Management University on the "Past, Present and Future of the Hedge Fund Industry" – 28/29 October

The annual two-day Hedge Fund Executive Education Programme, which will take place on the 28th and the 29th October 2009, is modeled after the Hedge Fund Training Programme at the London Business School. It will be open to players with interest in the Hedge Fund Industry such as investors, private bankers, finance practitioners, and professionals seeking a career in Hedge Funds. Seminars will be delivered by professors from the London Business School and SMU, and will focus on areas such as hedge fund risks, investment strategies, and performance. To aid learning, the course will feature real world case studies (LTCM, Amaranth, Harvard Endowment, etc), presentations by hedge fund managers, and discussions by professional hedge fund investors.

Selected Speakers

Bill Fung
Professor,London Business School

Melvyn Teo,
Associate Professor,Singapore Management University

Anurag Das¸
Founder and Managing Partner, Rain Tree Capital Management

Tan Chin Hwee
Partner, Apollo Fund Management

Singapore Management University

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Recruitment starting again for hedge funds based in Singapore and Hong Kong.

From efinancialcareers.sg, some good news on Asian Hedge Funds with new activity noted in Singapore and Hong Kong. The dark days may at last be over for Asia’s hedge fund sector, but recruitment is still selective, senior and sales-focused, with a real recovery not expected until next year.

Hedge funds are making a minor comeback after suffering their worst year on record in 2008, outperforming global benchmarks and experiencing an inflow of new assets, according to data provider Eurekahedge.

Asia has experienced a lot of the recent action. Winton Capital Management, for example, is starting a new fund in Japan and hiring staff in Hong Kong – its expansion coming just months after rivals like GSO Capital Partners, HBK and Ramius retreated from the region.

And ex-bankers are seizing the opportunity to start up their own firms in Asia. The list of budding fund managers includes: Nick Taylor, ex-head of Citadel Investment’s principal investments business in Asia and Europe; Shafiq Karmali, a former Goldman Sachs trader; and Edwin Wong, previously a Lehman Brothers MD.

Hedge fund recruitment is for now small-scale and focused on the front office. Jared Ng, regional consulting director, PeopleSearch explains: “Because short-term revenue is essential for the survival of companies to meet their short-term liability, revenue-generating jobs are more in demand. As a result, there have been more openings for sales positions.”

Peter Douglas, Asia Pacific council member for the Alternative Investment Management Association, says funds want experienced professionals who can hit the ground running. “In Singapore, Artradis, for example, has been taking on some senior people, basically taking advantage of a cyclical opportunity to add talent that’s now available,” he adds.

Funds that have not been so badly affected by the financial crisis are starting to recruit again after lying low for the past nine months, says Angela Kuek, manager, banking and financial services at Hudson in Singapore.

Douglas thinks the current fund inflows in Asia are coming mainly from specialist investors. The “real volume” is likely to return next year when more capital enters the market. “Asset size directly drives revenues and therefore the capacity and inclination to hire,” he adds.

efinancialcareers.sg

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US authorities are probing NIR Group hedge fund based in US/Singapore says WSJ

Reuters has reported that, according to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. authorities are probing whether Corey Ribotsky, Managing Member of NIR Group, a New York & Singapore based hedge-fund, defrauded investors about their returns and the holdings of his various funds, citing people familiar with the matter.

The people told the paper that prosecutors from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn are looking at whether Ribotsky lied to investors as stock prices fell during the credit crisis. The paper said the authorities have not accused Ribotsky of wrongdoing. Ribiotsky has said he has $770 million under management.

Ribotsky’s lawyer declined to comment to the paper, saying the hedge fund manager and NIR “have no knowledge of any criminal investigation and have not been contacted by any authorities.”  Spokesmen for the SEC, FBI and U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment to the paper.

Reuters

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