UPDATE 1-Ex-Goldman trader's $1 bln-plus fund makes modest start

Mon May 16, 2011 10:45pm EDT

* Fund returned 0.3 percent in forst month - sources

* Hedge fund assets at $1.3 bln-plus, among biggest in Asia (Adds details, background, quotes)

By Nishant Kumar

HONG KONG, May 17 (Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc star trader Morgan Sze's multi-strategy hedge fund returned 0.3 percent in April, three sources familiar with the matter said, a modest start in the first month of its launch.

By comparison, the Eurekahedge Asia Multi-Strategy index was up 0.91 percent last month. The Eurekahedge Global Multi-Strategy index was up 0.95 percent.

Hong Kong-based Azentus Capital's fund, which started with about $1 billion in assets on April 1, now manages in excess of $1.3 billion and has commitments for an additional $1 billion, two of the sources said.

Started by former head of Goldman's Principal Strategies group Sze, the hedge fund is one of the biggest to launch since the onset of the credit crisis and one of the most high-profile in Asia.

The first month's return is a keenly watched number in the $152 billion Asian hedge fund industry.

"I think it's a good result. It's not easy to put a billion dollars without impacting the market," said Dan McNicholas, head of Asia financing sales at Merrill Lynch. "All he needs to do is put up safe numbers while he gets the operations established and process built."

The fund has adopted a number of investment strategies including equity long-short, risk arbitrage and special situations investing.

Although the hedge fund could invest globally, the main focus was on companies related to Asia, a source familiar with the matter said.

Azentus Capital Chief Operating Officer Roger Denby-Jones was not available for comment. The sources were not authorised to speak to media. (Editing by Chris Lewis)

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