Monthly Archives: August 2015

WisdomTree Investments is expanding into Japan with a new Tokyo office, the company’s first in Asia. The firm has hired Jesper Koll (ex-JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Tantallon, Tiger Management) to lead its Japan effort. It has also hired Junichi Kamitsubo (ex-BlackRock, Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities, Schroders Investment Management, Nippon Credit Bank) as Head of Sales and Atsushi Yamamoto (ex-GE Capital, Deutsche Securities, Charles Schwab, Mitsubishi Securities, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) as Chief Compliance Officer in Japan. WisdomTree has more than US$63 billion in assets. Its Japan Hedged Equity Fund is the second-largest US ETF tracking Japanese stocks, with $18.1 billion in AUM.

RV Capital Management in Singapore has hired Jason Fredman as a portfolio manager. Most recently he was at Macquarie in Sydney and before that at Treasury Corporation.

Korea’s US$430 billion National Pension Service has named James Young as its first head of hedge fund investments. Young joins NPS from Topor & Co. Korea, a private investment office in which Oaktree Capital has a stake. Earlier he has worked at Tong Yang Asset Management, Sumitomo Trust, UBS, Calyon, Ssangyong Securities, Samsung Securities and Woori Bank. NPS also has plans to open an investment office in Singapore in September.

Henley brings hedge fund education to Asia

Steve Bernstein and Neil Logan, Henley Business School
Steve Bernstein

Steve Bernstein

 

Founded in 1945, Henley was the first business school in the UK. It stands among an elite group of business schools, ranking within the top 1% worldwide. Henley is truly international, delivering EMBA programs in 10 locations globally. It has now teamed up with hedge fund industry veteran Steve Bernstein to launch a first of its kind executive hedge fund program in Hong Kong. HFC’s Stefan Nilsson, who will be one of the lecturers on this new course, decided to have a chat with Henley’s Neil Logan and Steve Bernstein about this new initiative.

 
 
 

What’s the thinking behind the launch of an executive hedge fund program in Asia?

“If you think of hedge funds, the expertise is in the USA and Europe. Asia is growing but is still far behind. Part of that is the level of expertise in the region. There are a lot of seminars, executive courses and programs that are more general in nature. The Henley program is laser focused on all aspects of hedge funds, from setup to management,” explains Steve Bernstein, an industry veteran who currently is CEO SinoPac Solutions and Services and previously served as CEO of Oppenheimer Investments Asia. Henley’s Asian director Neil Logan continues: “It was also an opportunity to invite some of the industry’s top executives, to shape a program and allow them to influence the training they feel the industry needs.”

 

Who is the course aimed at? What will participants gain from this course?

“The course is aimed at finance professionals that want to make a move from the sell side to the buy side, that want to set up their own hedge fund, that work at hedge funds or service hedge funds. Those who complete the course will have a good understanding of all aspects of setting up and managing a hedge fund which will be invaluable for all professionals in the hedge fund space,” states Bernstein. “It also offers unprecedented access and networking opportunities for participants. It is an industry built on networking and this program will be a fast track to linking with some of the biggest organisations and individuals in the business,” says Logan.

Neil Logan

Neil Logan

 

The program’s curriculum has been developed with participation of industry professionals. All teachers are currently active in the hedge fund space. “The industry experts provide the content and Henley will provide the learning platform and overall instructional design to ensure the program is delivering the key messages created by the professionals,” explains Logan.

 

The hedge fund program’s modules include Business Set Up & Fund Administration, Markets & Trading, Legal, Regulatory & Compliance, Tax & Audit, Ethics & Corporate Governance, Prime Services, Portfolio Management, Capital Introduction and Risk Management.

 

The program’s line-up of industry speakers were chosen based on their specific expertise, their level of hedge fund experience and their ability to teach and share their knowledge. The first program will run from September and the plan is to offer this course two times a year in Hong Kong and then expand to other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. “We have also received interest from South Africa, Henley’s largest international campus and a major centre for Africa’s rapidly growing hedge fund industry,” says Logan.

 

You seem to have received great backing from many industry players. Do you think that the hedge fund industry itself sees a need for better equipped professionals in the Asian hedge fund industry?

“This program has been very well received and is the first of its kind. It will definitely help the hedge fund industry in Asia. The level of support from the industry has been great and they are critical to the success of the program,” says Bernstein proudly.

 

You have won some support from established financial organisations such as CAIA and the CFA Institute. How did you win them over as supporters rather than sort of competitors?

Bernstein explains: “We all have the same goal, to provide expertise and educate the financial community. CAIA, AIMA and the CFA are fantastic programs and the Henley program is a great first step to these other great programs and associations.” Logan adds: “They have all been very supportive of the initiative and have agreed to be involved in teaching, mentoring, judging and supplying materials. As Steve says we share a common goal which is to ensure a better educated and bigger hedge fund community. We hope to finalise the formal agreements shortly.”

 

Was Hong Kong an obvious choice as the location for the course?

“Not obvious but because the finance industry is concentrated and Hong Kong is the finance capital of the region it is a great place to launch the program,” says Bernstein. “Henley has also been in Hong Kong for 30 years so we have the support and infrastructure to manage the logistics here,” adds Logan.

 

With the help of the world-renowned Henley Business School, the future for the Asian hedge fund industry is looking bright. Hedge Funds Club members and friends benefit from an exclusive 10% discount on the Executive Hedge Fund Program fee. Please contact Dennis Chan dennis.chan@henley.com for more information or visit http://henley.asia/executive-education/executive-hedge-fund-program/

VL Asset Management, a Greater China fund manager, will tomorrow launch a new fund investing in Hong Kong-listed shares. The new fund, VL China Fund, is targeted at retail investors.

Brend Tse

Brend Tse

Brenda Tse, until recently Asian managing director at FoF firm Permal, has joined China Alpha Fund Management in Hong Kong as a managing partner.

Symphony Financial Partners, with offices in Singapore and Tokyo, has recently launched a new Japanese fund with a corporate governance focus. The SFP Japan Special Opportunities Fund is managed by David Baran and Kazuhiko Shibata and currently has an AUM of US$225m. Symphony was launched in 2000 and has a total AUM of around US$700m.

Two former Moon Capital executives have joined the new GIC spin-off Avanda Investment Management which was set up a few months ago by Cheng Chih Sung. Vina Satiadhi is now Head of Equity Research and Wei Fa Hon has also joined the same team at Avanda. Additionally, Li Ying Lim, who most recently was CIO of the Singapore Labour Foundation, has joined Avanda as Head of Fixed Income & Dynamic Allocation.

Mei-Ling Wong

Mei-Ling Wong

Mei-Ling Wong has joined GIC spin-off Avanda Investment Management as a portfolio manager. She was most recently a trader at Bank Pictet. Earlier she was at the Investment Company of the People’s Republic of China, Credit Suisse and Manulife Financial.

Stefan Nilsson

Stefan Nilsson

HFC boss Stefan Nilsson has joined the faculty of Henley Business School’s new hedge fund program in Asia. This is a first of its kind hedge fund program in Asia created and delivered by leading industry professionals. To help build the expertise of the next generation of hedge fund managers and counterparties, the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Centre at Henley Business School has created the Executive Hedge Fund Program. This program provides a unique opportunity to combine a full-time career with a world-class course leading to a professional award of the Henley Certificate in Hedge Fund Management upon successful completion.