* Preparing to launch fund by October to seed hedge funds
* Frims have committed $25 million towards the fund
(Recasts, adds details, quotes)
By Nishant Kumar
HONG KONG, April 19 Hong Kong's Samena Capital
and Swiss boutique private bank and money manager Reyl & Cie SA
plan to raise up to $250 million in a seed fund that will invest
in hedge funds focusing on Asia, the Middle East and North
The two firms had committed $25 million to start Samena
Angel Fund II, said Samena Capital founder and President Shirish
Saraf, adding that Reyl would tap private bank clients to help
expand the fund they expect to launch by October.
The firms announced a joint venture combining Samena Asia
Managers, Samena Capital's hedge fund seeding business, with
Reyl & Cie on Tuesday.
"That's the business we see going forward as a real synergy
with REYL," Saraf told Reuters in an interview.
Reyl has bought a 50 percent stake in Samena Asia Managers.
"We have a better story together for how we grow the funds,"
the London School of Economics alumnus said.
Geneva-based Reyl Group manages $4.5 billion with offices in
Paris, Luxembourg and Singapore.
Samena Asia Managers runs a $98 million seed fund -- Samena
Angel Fund I -- which has invested in Chicago-based Asia-focused
multi-strategy hedge fund Phalanx and Greater China long/short
hedge fund Snow Lake.
The fund gave a 23.12 percent return since its launch in
January 2007 to end of March 2011. By comparison, the MSCI AC
Asia Pacific index was down 6.3 percent during the period.
Samena Angel Fund II would broaden the scope of the seed
fund, said Julius Wang, a managing director at Samena Capital,
adding that the fund may expand to managed accounts and create
portfolios that might interest clients form Europe.
"We will reach out to a broader audience for Fund II," Wang
In May 2009, Samena Capital bought Vision Asia Pacific Ltd
co-founded by Wang to create a hedge fund seeding platform.
Samena Capital focuses on Asia, the Middle East and North
Africa and manages more than $400 million in private equity
Operating from London and Hong Kong, with a research
presence in India and Bahrain, the firm is in the process of
launching its second special situations fund with a targeted
amount of $700 million.
(Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)