Ex-Kroll exec starts emerging markets hedge fund

The Morgan Dale Network Intelligence Fund is an equity long/short fund drawing on insights from a global network of informed sources.

Chris Morgan-Jones, the former head of EMEA at investigations firm Kroll, plans to launch an emerging markets equity long/short fund named the Morgan Dale Network Intelligence Fund. The fund will focus on China, Brazil, the Gulf, Turkey and perhaps India.

Morgan-Jones will take a research role as head of intelligence. He is joined by Ashley Dale, who is the CEO of the fund, and will be a co-portfolio manager. Dale used to work at CLSA and GLS Capital. The CIO is Alistair Candlish who was formerly a portfolio manager at Bluecrest Capital.

In these days of pointlessly derivative 'me-too' funds, this London-based fund appears to offer an original and unique angle.

The way the fund will operate is via a network of retained intelligence operatives in cities such as Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Seoul. These operatives include journalists and political lobbyists and the idea is that because these people have a finger on the local macro pulse, they will file a report every fortnight containing information that may not yet be fully exposed in the public domain, around which a trading strategy can be constructed.

The target size of the fund is $30 million at launch, rising ultimately to $300 million. Morgan Dale hopes to find a seeder to provide the initial capital and is currently in talks with an array of potential investors.

The fund's gross positions will average 50% to 150% and net positions will average 25% to 75%. The fund will not be leveraged. Fees will likely be set at industry standard level of 2% management fee and 20% performance fee.

Prime brokers are likely to be Merrill Lynch plus one other. The administrator is Citco and lawyers are Simmons and Simmons. The fund will also seek to use the back office platform of their seeder.

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