August 13, 2015 / 12:38 PM / 4 years ago

Ex-Goldman trader's hedge fund set to join Asia's billion dollar club

LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based Guard Capital is set to join a tiny group of hedge funds managing $1 billion or more in Asia, sources familiar with the matter said, amid increased demand for funds betting on currencies and interest rates.

The so-called macro hedge fund was launched by Leland Lim, the former co-head of macro trading for Asia Pacific ex-Japan at Goldman, and Allan Bedwick, who was the head of macro trading in Asia for Noble Group, last August with $49.4 million.

The fund managed $893 million at the end of July, a letter to investors seen by Reuters showed.

This makes it the second fastest growing Asian hedge fund starting from such low base in at least the last decade, said Mohammad Hassan, an analyst at industry tracker Eurekahedge. He declined to name the fastest growing fund.

Guard Capital grew its assets despite closing the fund to new investors in July after the assets hit $500 million in May, the sources said, adding the fund was expected to grow to $1 billion in the coming weeks as demand remained strong.

The boost came on the back of a near 21 percent return since launch, while Asian peers as tracked by Eurekahedge gained 4 percent on an average.

A spokesman for Guard Capital declined to comment.

Macro hedge funds, which track macroeconomic trends and bet on assets such as stocks, currencies, bonds, commodities and indexes, are bouncing back after years of lacklustre returns.

Investors poured $4.3 billion into such funds in the first half of the year after pulling out $14 billion last year, data from Eurekahedge showed, and are looking to raise exposure further as divergent economic policies globally create more investment opportunities.

Only 10 percent of hedge funds with more than $1 billion in assets are in Asia and three quarters of the funds in the region manage less than $100 million, Eurekahedge data showed.

They include hedge funds managed by firms such as Myriad, Dymon, Hillhouse and Macquarie.

The milestone is keenly watched in the relatively small Asian hedge fund industry as a reflection of money managers’ ability to attract institutional investors. It also indicates a revival of capital flows into the region and the macro strategy.

Several macro funds are expected to be launching in the coming months, including fund by former Brevan Howard top trader Chris Rokos, who is expected to collect billion of dollars for his launch expected later this year.

Soros Fund Management chief investment officer Scott Bessent also plans to launch with at least $2 billion in 2016. (Editing by Simon Jessop and Mark Potter)

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