Singapore Hedge Fund

Alternative asset management in Singapore

Green shoots for Hedge Fund Jobs

From our good friends at FHN…It is far from the go-go years of 2006 and 2007 for those looking for jobs with alternative investment firms. Yet, rays of silver are starting to peak out from under the economic crunch clouds.

That’s what Robert Olman, founder and president of Alpha Search Advisory Partners is beginning to see.

Olman told that he is seeing more appetite among hedge fund firms, not only for hiring personnel, but also for acquisitions.

Distressed debt, global macro, high-frequency trading and emerging markets, are the top strategies for hiring and for acquisition, Olman said.

“That’s followed by very sector specific equity long-short, financials being top of the heap,” he said.

Alpha Search is highly specialized, placing only portfolio managers and senior analysts with a track record of generating trade ideas, as well as risk managers and marketers. Most of those placed by the firm have an average of 7 years or more experience, Olman said.

In those specializations, Olman said, “we are seeing the hedge fund managers now creating strategic plans for hiring. We’re getting offers coming in and acceptances.”

But the recession has wrought changes to the hiring process.

“Compensation is down 20% to 25% in terms of initial offers and targeted bonuses,” Olman said.

Alpha Search recently started up an advisory service for consolidating hedge fund firms as a natural outgrowth of its recruitment business.

“We have funds with $1 billion to $2 billion in assets under management, funds that are looking at acquiring $200 to $600 million AUM funds, basically single manager, single strategy funds, in strategies or asset classes they don’t cover,” Olman said.

“It’s a given now that size does matter,” he said. “The bulk of money coming in is going to larger funds, while smaller funds are competing for an ever-shrinking pool of capital.”

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Nomura plans global prime broking business to serve Hedge Fund

Japan’s Nomura HoldingsĀ  plans to launch a global prime brokerage business by September as the financial crisis has created room for new players to serve hedge funds, a senior executive said on Monday.

“We think prime brokerage is a very interesting opportunity because of what happened in the industry this past year,” Siggi Thorkelsson, Nomura’s head of equities Asia-Pacific, told Reuters in an interview.

Prime brokerages offer services such as clearing, securities lending and financing for assets to hedge funds. Banks such as Goldman SachsĀ  and Morgan Stanley have historically dominated the business.

Thorkelsson said Nomura historically has not been present in the prime broking space.

“It used to the case that the barriers to entry were very high as there were a couple of firms that dominated the market. Now those firms have lost a lot of the market share and there’s market share to be gained there,” he said.

The hedge fund industry suffered record redemptions last year, fuelled by weak performance exacerbated by a meltdown in financial markets last fall.

“The tide seems to have turned there. There are have been a number of firms that have done extremely well and those hedge funds will be the biggest beneficiaries of a less crowded market place in the coming years,” Thorkelsson said.

Nomura, which took over the European, Middle Eastern and Asian units of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, is also looking to increase its market share in Asia in electronic trading, derivatives and convertible securities.

“Our ambition for Asia is to be in the top three to five in terms market share and we are not there yet,” Thorkelsson said, adding the firm is in the top 10.

Currently Asia excluding Japan accounts for 30 percent of its Asia-Pacific equities business and the firm plans to grow that share to 50 percent in one and half years, he said. He did not provide figures.

“Most important markets for us in the medium-to-long term are China and India and in the immediate term, Hong Kong and Singapore are the main areas of focus.”

With Reuters

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Flowering Tree Investment Management chooses LaCrosse Global Fund Service

LaCrosse Global Fund Services has won a mandate to provide fund administration services to the Flowering Tree Investment Management funds.

The Singapore-based Asian-equities hedge fund started trading in May 2009 and is led by Rajesh Sachdeva. Previously he was co-founder of New York-based Sansar Capital Management, an Asian equities hedge fund manager that managed over $3 billion at its peak.

Flowering Tree Investment Management is reported to be planning to expand its newest Asian equities hedge fund which was seeded with $12.5 million from founders, family and friends.

The fund is set to grow to $15-$16 million by July and is looking to hit $200-$300 million by 2011 and has the capacity to grow to over $1 billion. Flowering Tree’s new fund’s equity long-short strategy is more likely to succeed this year and next year than in 2008.

LaCrosse Global Fund Services provides operations, middle-office and administration services to managers of complex hedge funds globally.

Jean Viry-Babel
senior partner
VBK partners

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