HONG KONG (Reuters) - British asset manager City Financial Investment Co Ltd aims to double its Hong Kong staff and launch a second hedge fund to take advantage of increased investment in the region, Chief Executive Andrew Williams said in an interview.
The asset manager has started discussions to form a new team in coming months, to add to the nine-person team already at City Financial's Hong Kong office, Williams told Reuters.
The new fund will focus on long/short investments in Chinese shares and Asian corporate bonds, Williams said. That strategy will "complement" the futures and derivatives strategy of City Financial's Counterpoint Asian Macro Fund managed by Geoffrey Barker, who was previously with Ballingal Investment Advisors.
City Financial, which manages $2.2 billion worth of assets, launched the Counterpoint macro hedge fund in May as a joint venture with Barker. At $120 million, City Financial called the launch the largest of its kind in the region in the past year. As of Sept. 1, the fund had grown to $150 million.
"Launching a second fund is significantly simpler now that we're already here," Williams said, adding that City Financial aims for each fund to reach $1 billion in the coming years.
Macro hedge funds focus on major economic trends and events and invest anywhere geographically they see value, including stock futures, bonds, currencies, commodities and derivatives.
City Financial's latest launch comes as Asian hedge funds increase in size thanks to the appeal of improved performance this year. Net inflows to funds in the region reached $4.1 billion this year as of August-end, with assets under management at $157.3 billion, according to data provider Eurekahedge.
Over the same period, the funds have gained 5.6 percent in value compared with 4.8 percent a year earlier, the data showed.
Editing by Christopher Cushing