Blue Pool said to be in talks to back new hedge fund


Blue Pool Cap­i­tal Ltd, which in­vests bil­lions of dol­lars for wealthy clients in­clud­ing two top Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd ex­ec­u­tives, is in ad­vanced talks to back a newhedge fund that’s be­ing planned by a for­mer Asia head of Balyasny As­set Man­age­ment LP, ac­cord­ing to sources with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

Av­inash Abra­ham, who left Balyasny ear­lier this year, plans to start a pan-Asia hedge fund in Novem­ber through his firm, Torq Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment (HK), said the anony­mous sources.

The mar­ket neu­tral fund will bet on ris­ing and fall­ing stocks, said the sources, who didn’t pro­vide de­tails of the size or terms of the in­vest­ment.

Find­ing high-pro­file back­ers is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult for hedge funds that have been be­set by volatile mar­kets. Asia-based hedge funds are fac­ing the worst re­demp­tion pres­sures in five years, with in­vestor with­drawals cut­ting re­gional in­dus­try as­sets by about 10 per­cent in the first half of the year, ac­cord­ing to eVest­ment, a global provider of in­sti­tu­tional in­vest­ment data.

The re­gion’s man­agers suf­fered $6.3 bil­lion of cap­i­tal out­flows in the first six months of the year, the worst among global peers, the data provider said.

Blue Pool man­ages the for­tunes of its Hong Kong­based co-own­ers Alexan­der West and Oliv­erWeis­berg, as well as cap­i­tal pro­vided by Alibaba Chair­man Jack Ma and Vice-Chair­man Joseph Tsai, ac­cord­ing to fam­ily friends and Blue Pool’s ad­vi­sory board mem­bers.

The firm this year hired three ex­ec­u­tives from Aus­tralia-

the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als with in­vestable as­sets of at least $1 mil­lion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion in 2015

Cap­i­tal Ser­vices, to man­age a mar­ket-neu­tral busi­ness that bets on ris­ing and fall­ing stocks, they added.

JimWilkin­son, an ex­ter­nal spokesman for Blue Pool, de­clined to com­ment.

Blue Pool is among a new group of Asian money man­agers that com­bine the longterm cap­i­tal pro­vided by wealthy fam­i­lies with the or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­ture of in­de­pen­dent in­vest­ment firms.

New wealth in de­vel­op­ing economies such as China and In­dia helped cat­a­pult the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als with in­vestable as­sets of at least $1 mil­lion in the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion to 5.1 mil­lion in 2015, sur­pass­ing North Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by RBC Wealth Man­age­ment and Capgem­ini.

Ma, who built Alibaba into China’s big­gest e-com­merce com­pany, ranks as Asia’s rich­est man with an es­ti­mated per­sonal for­tune of more than $32 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Bloomberg Bil­lion­aires In­dex. Tsai has a net worth of more than $5 bil­lion.

West, who co-founded Blue Pool with Tsai in 2004, and Weis­berg, a for­mer man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Ken Grif­fin’s Ci­tadel, an­a­lyze global eco­nomic and mar­ket trends to make de­ci­sions on al­lo­ca­tions into dif­fer­ent as­set classes and ge­ogra­phies. Other in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing Ma and Tsai, are pas­sive in­vestors, said the sources.

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