Hong Kong fund of hedge funds builds team

Pacific World plans to target institutional investors and is considering setting up in Singapore.

Pacific World Asset Management, one of Asia's largest home-grown fund of hedge fund managers, has recently added three new members, bringing its team to a total of 22 people.

CEO Chris Choy says that with the firm's AUM exceeding the $800 million mark, he is looking to both enhance the portfolio and risk management on the investment side, and expand business development efforts on the marketing side.

"We set up in 2001 and now have a three-year track record. Our assets have also grown strongly so we feel we are ready to attract more institutional investors to our fund," says Choy. Currently, most of Pacific World's investors are high net-worth individuals, which the fund accesses through private banks, IFAs and retail banks.

Helping to pursue this effort will be Pacific World's new marketing director, Peter Adam. Adam has worked in the financial services industry for 25 years, including eight in Asia. Pacific World currently sees most of its investors from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Parts of Adam's responsibility will be to look at the new markets of Korea and Japan.

Choy says that the firm is seriously considering opening a marketing office in Singapore. "The Singaporean government has a very positive approach to hedge funds as an asset class, and institutional investors there have become more mature," says Choy. "They are much more willing to meet with us than they were two years ago."

Choy says the firm has also conducted a detailed review of its investment process and due diligence quality and has added two new senior associates to its investment team, Xavier Fanjaud and James Lai. Fanjaud previously worked with SHK Fund Management, where he was responsible for manager due diligence. Lai has a fund administration background and joins from HSBC where he was responsible for risk management and portfolio monitoring.

"Both Xavier and James have a solid background," says Choy. "It is very challenging to find analysts experienced in hedge fund due diligence."

Pacific World focuses on low-volatility arbitrage and relative value strategies, and invests with hedge fund managers in the US and Europe.

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