Business / Companies

Blue Pool said to be in talks to back new hedge fund

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-04 07:48

Blue Pool Capital Ltd, which invests billions of dollars for wealthy clients including two top Alibaba Group Holding Ltd executives, is in advanced talks to back a new hedge fund that's being planned by a former Asia head of Balyasny Asset Management LP, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Avinash Abraham, who left Balyasny earlier this year, plans to start a pan-Asia hedge fund in November through his firm, Torq Capital Management (HK), said the anonymous sources.

The market neutral fund will bet on rising and falling stocks, said the sources, who didn't provide details of the size or terms of the investment.

Finding high-profile backers is becoming more difficult for hedge funds that have been beset by volatile markets. Asia-based hedge funds are facing the worst redemption pressures in five years, with investor withdrawals cutting regional industry assets by about 10 percent in the first half of the year, according to eVestment, a global provider of institutional investment data.

The region's managers suffered $6.3 billion of capital outflows in the first six months of the year, the worst among global peers, the data provider said.

Blue Pool manages the fortunes of its Hong Kong-based co-owners Alexander West and Oliver Weisberg, as well as capital provided by Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Vice-Chairman Joseph Tsai, according to family friends and Blue Pool's advisory board members.

The firm this year hired three executives from Australia-based Merricks Capital Services, to manage a market-neutral business that bets on rising and falling stocks, they added.

Jim Wilkinson, an external spokesman for Blue Pool, declined to comment.

Blue Pool is among a new group of Asian money managers that combine the long-term capital provided by wealthy families with the organizational structure of independent investment firms.

New wealth in developing economies such as China and India helped catapult the number of individuals with investable assets of at least $1 million in the Asia-Pacific region to 5.1 million in 2015, surpassing North America, according to a report by RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini.

Ma, who built Alibaba into China's biggest e-commerce company, ranks as Asia's richest man with an estimated personal fortune of more than $32 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Tsai has a net worth of more than $5 billion.

West, who co-founded Blue Pool with Tsai in 2004, and Weisberg, a former managing director at Ken Griffin's Citadel, analyze global economic and market trends to make decisions on allocations into different asset classes and geographies. Other individuals, including Ma and Tsai, are passive investors, said the sources.


Hot Topics

Editor's Picks