In the concluding event of the Hong Kong prime broking capital introductions season, Deutsche Bank put on a grand show at the Island Shangri La hotel.
Hosted by Barry Bausano, global co-head of prime finance, and Marlin Naidoo, head of the hedge fund capital group for Asia-Pacific, the event spanned two days.
The topic for day one was 'The next generation of hedge funds in Asia'. Befitting the theme of youth and vitality, Harvey Twomey, the head of Deutsche's prime finance sales for Asia-Pacific, quizzed a line-up including Rajdesh Sachdeva of Flowering Tree, Sam Gupta of Grand Trunk Capital, Sanjiv Bhatia of Isometric Capital, Justin Klintberg of Kima Capital, Will Li of Ocean Capital, Omnix Capital's Paul Penkett and Nick Taylor of Senrigan Capital.
The impression one gets from these gentlemen is not just one of motivation as they are part of a new breed, but also a palpable sense of relief at being freed from the corporate shackles and political whirlpools in cases where they have migrated from Wall Street firms.
Attendance at the event was so overwhelming on Thursday that it made some in the audience feel dizzy with the ambient body-heat. However, suffering breeds character (not necessarily good character, just lots of it), so it was worth enduring the pressure cooker to behold the new blood. One attendee said: "They have the best line-up here of new start-ups in this cap-intro season. The only one not here is Hari Kumar [of LionRock]."
On the second day, established hedge funds discussed the topic: 'Where next for the large Asian hedge fund complexes?'
Deutsche's Asia chief executive Robert Rankin grilled the rugged warriors, including: Paul Britton of Capstone Investment; Carl Huttenlocher of Highbridge Capital; triple Oxford Blue Des Anderson, who heads Marshall Wace in Asia; Zoltan Varga of Och Ziff; Chris Gradel, founder of Pacific Alliance; and Farhat Malik of PMA Capital.