Geomatrix has launched the Akamai Pan Asia fund. Introduced at the beginning of July, it is a large-cap focused, long/short fund that hedges its market risk via listed index futures. It concentrates on the major markets of Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, India and Australia.

Robert Howe is AkamaiÆs portfolio manager. He ran T Rowe Price-Fleming's Asian equities in Tokyo and Hong Kong for 10 years, plus AIG Global Investment's Japanese equity book. The CFO of the fund and its trader are existing Geomatrix employees Jon Coleman and Murtuza Husain.

The hedge fund is manages $4 million (75% of which is partners' capital), and its managers are now raising more capital by way of money from friends, family, and industry colleagues. They are also looking further afield.

The fund managers, Geomatrix HK, are seeking early-stage investors or seeders in hedge funds who want an equity long/short manager in Asia that does not have a long bias. The fund's estimated capacity is between $1 billion and $2 billion.

Net exposure is currently 35%, and that has swung from a 21% net short position at commencement. Its target annual return is 20% with a Sharpe ratio of 1.2%, and so far is up 4.3% after nearly a month of trading. Geomatrix charges the typical 2/20% fees.

ôAll my chips are in, so I am committed,ö says Robert Howe. ôIn the current bear market, we have made money by being net short on our stock book and then hedging the bounces via a market risk futures overlay, which has proved itself in various market environments."

Before going live, Geomatrix had back-tested its strategy with live paper trading for the previous six months and as at the end of June, that model produced year-to-date positive returns of 16.79%.

The fund's prime broker is Citi and its administrator is Apex Fund Services.