By Nishant Kumar
HONG KONG, April 3 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
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)