Clayton Heijman of Privium RKR on barriers to entry and institutional set-ups

Clayton Heijman with part of Privium RKR's Asian team in Hong Kong.

Clayton Heijman with part of Privium RKR’s Asian team in Hong Kong.

Privium RKR is fast growing its Asian business by providing investment teams with an institutional infrastructure right from the start. HFC’s Stefan Nilsson had a chat with industry veteran Clayton Heijman about Privium RKR’s business.

 

Tell us about Privium RKR’s services for fund managers and investors?

Since 2008 the final industry has seen an increase in regulations, compliance and checks. At the same time investors have started to conduct more due diligence on infrastructure and potential risks while applying pressure on management fees. We are also seeing regulators worldwide implementing more rules for the asset management industry. As a result of these developments, the barrier to entry for new asset management initiatives is increasing. The full scope of services that we are offering provides portfolio managers an institutional infrastructure that will allow them to be set up with a limited investment and full transparency. At the same time, it is scaleable for growth and globalisation.

 

How did the two firms Privium Funds and RKR Capital come together in this Asian venture?

Privium had developed a business in Europe with an AUM of over US$1.5 billion and offices in London, Luxembourg and Amsterdam. Our ambition is to grow our business also into Asia met with the regional expertise of RKR Capital. These conversations resulted in a strong combination that was welcomed by the market.

 

Where are you currently at with your Asian business and what are you trying to achieve?

We already knew that there was a desire from portfolio management teams to work with a global player. However the response has exceeded our expectations. The positive responses came both from international managers that want to grow, again, in Asia as well as Asian managers locally. All are reviewing the benefits we provide them. We have a very compelling business case for them. Privium RKR can help them to set up a solid infrastructure and provide access to various service providers and markets. Asian portfolio managers should want to set up their funds allowing them to reach investors across the globe. With our global coverage we can help them to achieve these goals.

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What kind of funds do you currently have on your platform in Asia? Can you give us some examples?

We have seen a lot of new initiatives over the last 12 months. This is an encouraging signal for the overall asset management industry. The teams managing private equity and venture capital are experiencing new regulation for their activities. In addition there are several funds starting with an equity long/short strategy, a quantitative strategy and a macro strategy. We have also seen traditional long-only managers and there is also a renewed interest for funds of funds. As for the location of the activities we obviously review initiatives that have a link to mainland China but basically see initiatives all over the Asian region.

 

You have chosen Hong Kong as your Asian headquarters and recruited an experienced team to manage it. Was Hong Kong an obvious choice?

Hong Kong has long played a role as a large asset management hub in the Asian region. The decision for a Hong Kong location was further strengthened due to the longstanding history that many people in our firm had with Hong Kong. For me personally it felt like I was coming home.

 

You personally have a solid background in alternative investments. Tell us about what you have done before you set up Privium and what led you to set up the business.

The set-up of this business has only been possible because of the different previous roles and experiences I had. Learning the ins and outs of the fund industry by working, amongst others, in the prime brokerage and equity finance group of Goldman Sachs in Asia, Europe and the US, having experience in fund operations at MeesPierson and setting up investment vehicles at Fortis. These experiences were all essential in Privium RKR becoming the single point of contact to discuss different matters for teams that want to set up or expand their asset management initiative. Our global team has a broad experience in the different areas of the asset management industry.

 

If you hadn’t been working in the fund management industry, what do you think you would have been doing?

Exploring and supporting new initiatives is part of my DNA. As a result I am a big fan of Sir David Attenborough and his work. My alternative career would probably have been accompanying him on his travels across the globe and unravelling the mysteries of nature.

(Apr 2017)