Due to government restrictions and social distancing recommendations, all our networking events in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia are currently on hold. We are monitoring the situation and hope to be able to resume our event schedule soon.
Monthly Archives: July 2020
Our popular series of Hedge Funds Club Good Life Interviews continues with HFC boss Stefan Nilsson checking in on James Alexander, Chief Commercial Officer of Invast Global in Sydney for a chat about escapism, Lego and getting dressed for work.
From where and how do you get your daily general news updates?
I love stories that are interesting and quirky. Bloomberg’s “Odd Lots” podcast is a sure-fire way of starting your day with something that expands your frame of reference. Well, mine at least.
What do you do to unwind on a weekend?
Escapism. Anything that breaks the current WFH routine is essential right now. For me, getting outdoors with the family is key. In the current environment where we inviably spend a lot of hours in front of screens trying to keep in touch, unwinding can be as simple as a walk in the park. Wine also helps…
Can you name a great book you have recently read?
Yes, as long as the timeline on “recently” is flexible. I’ve always been interested in the human side of big events and still find myself recounting anecdotes from the Michael Lewis’ book “Boomerang” which recounts the post-global financial crisis-era through the lens of several different countries. “I Want My Hat Back”, is also good for a laugh according to my three-year-old.
Your soundtrack of choice?
Right now, it’s a split decision between Ludovico Einaudi’s “12 Songs from Home” and The National’s “Boxer”. Both have a bit of grit that seems appropriate right now.
What drink do you start the day with and what drink finishes it?
That depends on who’s asking. The one that is a certainty is carrot and ginger juice on a Monday morning, everything else is up for negotiation.
What’s the worst money mistake you’ve made?
Not spending more, a hangover of Scottish heritage. Life doesn’t “keep” in a money box.
Have you ever had a great mentor and what did you learn?
Yes. He passed recently in advanced years and had the fearless, no BS approach that comes from a life well-lived. For all the technical things I learned from this person, a fondness for a good story was the most important. Those aren’t forgotten.
What gives you energy?
Caffeine and my young boys. When I’m alone, good tunes. As a former drummer, the steering wheel and dashboard cop a good “talking to” more regularly than I care to admit.
How do you stay grounded and focused as a person in these turbulent and fast-changing times?
While it’s easy to say family here – and they do ground me more than anything – trying to display the right attributes to some of the younger members of our team is also important. Realising that your example is the one they look to keeps you from getting ahead of yourself.
Can you name a terrific restaurant that you love?
Just one, no, I can name dozens. Anything with chilli is a hit. Lankkan Filling Station was a recent highlight.
What’s your favourite museum in the world?
Are you active on social media and what do you actually use it for?
Only a little. I’m a believer in the “less is more” approach. The marketing team may disagree.
Do you have any secret guilty pleasure that you are prepared to reveal here?
Commandeering my kids’ Lego. It’s genuinely addictive.
What kind of battle dress do you normally put on for work?
In the era of covid, I opt for the newsreader approach, business up top, party down below. After concluding a recent board meeting, the business shirt tucked into the Okanui’s got a public airing.
Do you celebrate your wins? If so, how?
Not enough. Never enough.
What makes you happy?
Getting it done. A sense of accomplishment. Work, parenting, being there for family and friends or just smashing a good Lego set.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gained 1.38% in June, bringing its year-to-date loss to 1.28%. Global hedge funds continued to recover the losses they suffered in the first quarter, supported by a strong rebound of risk assets. The underlying global equity market, as represented by the MSCI AC World Index was down 7.02% over the first half of 2020. The global hedge fund industry AUM has declined by US$198.1 billion as of June 2020 year-to-date. Investors have redeemed US$105.5 billion from the hedge fund industry in the first half of the year, while performance driven losses stood at US$92.6 billion.
The Eurekahedge Greater China Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index was up 5.94% in June, bringing its year-to-date return to 6.45%. The recorded robust macroeconomic data, particularly the Purchasing Managers Index which went up to an expansion level above 50, boosted the region’s equity market.
Chetan Shetty has set up his own shop Ekagrata Capital Advisers in Singapore which will focus on pan-Asian equity long/short investing. The firm is currently hiring a team and is expected to launch a fund this year. Shetty was most recently Partner at Broad Peak Investment Advisers and earlier he had stints at Och-Ziff Capital and JP Morgan.
Alex Zhang, most recently a portfolio manager at Millennium in Hong Kong, has been hired by Garda Capital Partners to lead its expansion into Asia. Zhang was previously a trader at Capula Investment Management. Earlier in his career he was trading interest rate derivatives at Bear Stearns and JP Morgan in London. Garda, with an AUM of US$6 billion dollars, is headquartered in Minneapolis and was founded by Jeff Drobny.
Jihwan Chung has been appointed COO of South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation. Chung was most recently Chief Compliance Officer. Sooyong Jung will take over the compliance role and will be replaced as head of KIC’s alternative investments by James Kim.
Clinton Yang, who made a name for himself in the Hong Kong hedge fund community while working at fund of hedge fund manager SAIL Advisors and prime broker Credit Suisse, has joined Ping An. His new gig is as Head of Investor Relations for the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, a billion dollar corporate venture capital fund. His career has also included working at AIF Capital, Acion Partners and Cephei Capital. It all started with a summer analyst stint at Lehman Brothers in New York.
Stéphane Becquart, Co-Founder of the Swiss-Asia ValueTech Fund in Singapore, has become a Board Member of The Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia.
Timothy Cheung, the former Head of Research at Morphic Asset Management, has launched Sydney-based Mantis Funds, a firm partnering with investment managers looking for distribution support. Dalton Street Capital has reportedly come onboard as Mantis’ first client and Singapore-based Firth Investment Management has also signed on. Cheung, who during his career has also had stints at firms such as Perpetual Investments and Colonial First State, has teamed up with Mark Paton (ex-FIIG Securities, ANZ, Westpac) and Damien Hatfield (ex-Aura Alternative Assets, Pengana Capital, Ascalon Capital, Colonial First State, Deutsche, ANZ) to launch Mantis. Mantis is owned by principal investment firm LSL Partners of which Cheung is the CIO.
William Stephens in Sydney has founded Alius Capital, a fund placement and capital raising business. Until recently, Stephens was a Distribution Director at Channel Capital. Earlier, his career has included stints at firms such as QIC, FTSE, Fleming Family & Partners Asset Management and Deloitte.