Hedge firm SAIL hires former Goldman exec as CEO

HONG KONG, July 30 (Reuters) - SAIL Advisors Ltd, one of Asia's largest homegrown fund of hedge fund managers, said on Wednesday it hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N managing director Vincent Duhamel as its new chief executive.

Hong Kong-based Duhamel will replace Eliza Lau, who previously served as both chief executive and chief investment officer. SAIL said Lau would remain as CIO and continue to oversee its portfolios. The Hong Kong-based firm had about $2.5 billion in assets under management as of the end of June.

Duhamel, who will start as CEO on September 17, was with Goldman in Asia from 2005 until earlier this year.

The Canadian executive initially ran its asset management business in the region, before the role was taken over by Oliver Bolitho. He moved on to help lead the unit’s sovereign wealth fund and central bank strategy.

Prior to Goldman he was an executive with State Street Corp STT.N.

“As our business continues to grow rapidly we are focused on continuing to build the management team at SAIL. Vincent is a key part of this strategy,” SAIL Chairman Robert Miller said in a statement.

SAIL was established in 2003 by Search Investment Group, the family office of billionaire Miller, who co-founded the retail chain Duty Free Shoppers. Search began managing the Miller family’s money in 1974 and is a longtime hedge fund investor.

SAIL opened its funds to third-party investors starting in 2004, a move executives have said was made partly to ensure the firm had the resources to hire and retain top talent in a competitive industry.

Asia-Pacific focused hedge funds had about $155 billion in assets at the end of June, according to hedge fund tracker Eurekahedge.

After producing five straight years of double-digit percentage gains, the Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund Index is down 8.86 percent this year. This compares with a gain of 1.39 percent for its North American index and fall of 1.62 percent in its European index. (Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Jonathan Hopfner)