October 18, 2016 / 12:00 PM / in a year

New hedge fund Mill Hill secures investment from Protege

BOSTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Former Macquarie portfolio manager David Meneret has secured financial backing from Protege Partners for his new hedge fund, Mill Hill Capital, the fund and firm said on Tuesday.

New York-based Mill Hill Capital, which will focus on investments in corporate and securitized assets including bonds and collateralized loan obligations, plans to start trading in November.

Neither the fund nor the firm would say exactly how large Protege’s investment will be. Protege has spent between $50 million and $125 million on each of its most recent deals.

“This relationship will provide Mill Hill Capital the opportunity to gain critical mass and foster the growth of the firm,” Meneret said.

Raising money for hedge funds has become tougher as some big investors such as pension funds are rethinking their commitments in the wake of poor returns and high fees. This has prompted many smaller startups to try to obtain so-called seed money.

As a trained engineer with degrees from Columbia and the Ecole Centrale Paris, Meneret has spent the last year readying the new fund’s launch with the help of former colleagues from global investment banking group Macquarie. Mill Hill now employs six people and will be largely numbers oriented, relying heavily on data and building models to make all types of trading decisions, Meneret told Reuters.

Meneret’s team includes former Macquarie colleagues Gaurav Singhal, Hongwei Cheng and Robert Perdock. They have experience running a so-called market-neutral relative value credit hedge fund that seeks to exploit differences in the price or rate of similar securities, after having worked at the Macquarie Credit Nexus Fund. David Modiano joined Mill Hill as head of business development and investor relations early this year.

Meneret also worked at UBS as a trader from 2006 to 2008 where he made successful bets against financial institutions.

Meneret said Mill Hill will be able to make money in markets that rise and fall, and that his only fear is that nothing moves. The average relative value oriented hedge fund has gained nearly 6 percent this year, data from Hedge Fund Research shows.

“In a world dominated by beta, this is a refreshing change,” said Adil Abdulali, senior managing director at Protege Partners, said about Mill Hill’s strategy.

Additional reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Will Dunham

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