|The former head of Fortress Investment Group LLC’s Hong Kong office, Stanley Ku, plans to start an Asia-focused hedge fund which he will manage. According to Bloomberg, the new fund, Minerva Macro Fund, will employ a Macro strategy to invest in stocks as well as interest rate, currency and commodity instruments in large and liquid markets. Eurekahedge Macro Hedge Fund Index, which tracks macro strategy pools, reported a 3% return last year for the strategy amidst the industry’s 12% reported retreat. But Macro strategies only represented 7.3% of Asian hedge fund assets in contrast with 20% globally, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. In last year’s crisis, financial institutions reported almost $1.5 trillion in losses resulting in a cut-back of many companies’ Asia operations. Strategies like Macro and fixed-income, once underrepresented in Asia, are expanding due to the scaling back of global multi-strategy hedge funds and being employed by managers and traders leaving international firms and starting new ones in Asia. The higher economic growth and continuing maturation of capital markets in Asia allows for better overall returns according to a marketing document for the fund. Minerva will start trading in August. |
Ku, who set up Fortress’s Hong Kong office in 2005 and managed a pool of money for Fortress’s Drawbridge Global Macro Fund division, brings 12 years of macro trading expertise to his new firm. Prior to Fortress, Ku traded macro instruments for over 7 years in Tokyo and Hong Kong for Goldman Sachs. Of those 7 years, Ku spent 6 of them with his co-founder and Minerva’s risk and business manager, Dorothy Lau. Lau was also director of investment at Merrill Lynch, and, prior to that, portfolio manager on JPMorgan’s proprietary trading desk in Hong Kong.