UPDATE 1-Fuchs seeks $800 mln for Nomura-backed hedge fund
HONG KONG, April 3 (Reuters) - Former Nomura Holdings Inc trader Benjamin Fuchs will launch a multi-strategy hedge fund on June 1 with backing from Japan's largest investment bank, expanding the list of high-profile start-ups this year.
Nomura will match the amount that Fuchs' firm, BFAM Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd, raises up to $200 million.
The fund aims to raise $400-500 million, including Nomura's matching amount, at the initial stage, said James Singh, the hedge fund's chief operating officer.
"We will start on June 1 and the money we raise will probably be over the course of the summer," said Singh, w ho joined Fuchs in early 2011.
He said the hedge fund would look to close the fund after raising $700-800 million in current market conditions.
"We have had a lot of investor interest from some very very high quality institutional investors around the world who have been taking a lot of time over the last year to get to know us and how we trade and what we do," Singh said.
"That gives me a high degree of confidence that we will have a very good investor list.".
Nomura could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hong Kong-based Fuchs, who led the Global Opportunities Group proprietary trading desk at Nomura, has been in the news since 2009 over his plans to raise money from outside investors and later launch his own hedge fund.
He registered BFAM Partners with the Hong Kong market regulator on Friday, records on the Securities and Futures Commission website show.
The move comes as proprietary desk traders move out from banks in light of the "Volcker rule", named after the former Federal Reserve chairman who authored the regulation to limit the extent to which banks can bet with their own capital.
The multi-strategy, trading oriented hedge fund will mainly focus on the Asia Pacific region and trade credit, equity-linked instruments such as convertible bonds and volatility products like regional currencies and equity derivatives.
The hedge fund firm will also continue to run $300 million for Nomura in a segregated account, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Fuchs' team, which started trading in April 2009, produced 48 percent return in the calendar year, followed by 20 percent gain in 2010.
Return in 2011, when peers in the Eurekahedge Asia index lost an average 8.4 percent, was about 1 percent, the source said but declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak on the fund's return.
Fuchs joins the likes of senior UBS Australia trader Gerard Satur who is setting up MST Capital and Eashwar Krishnan, former Asia head of hedge fund firm Lone Pine Capital, who will launch Tybourne Capital in Hong Kong in July.
Others such as Alp Ercil, a former partner and the head of New York-based hedge fund Perry Capital's Asia operations, and Aje Saigal, a veteran at sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), are also launching their funds this year. (Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Chris Lewis)