The Shaka Japan fund has been launched in New York by hedge fund manager Shaka Capital Management. It is a new start-up, launched in January of this year with partnersÆ capital, and has an estimated capacity of $1 billion.

Arif Imam is ShakaÆs business manager and is a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, responsible for global distribution of Japanese equities.

The portfolio manager is Alexandre de Bethmann who formerly worked at Federated Global and TIAA-CREF.

ShakaÆs trader is Douglas Butcher, who was also a managing director at Morgan Stanley where he handled client trading for Japanese equities.

Target return is 12-15% per year on a Sharpe Ratio of 1.2 to 1.5. It is a Japan-only long/short equity fund concentrating on the top 250 stocks in that market. The focus on large-cap stocks is in part because of the very liquid state of the short borrow that lends to running a truly efficient hedged fund.

ôA Japan hedge fund strategy which operates in the large-cap space can be run much more efficiently as opposed to a small- and mid-cap strategy which can become a long-only proxy when fund sizes get too large,ö says Imam.

ôJapanÆs banks and corporations should be in a position to start exporting capital internationally in the next 12-18 months, thus setting it apart from its peers and this theme will start to emerge specifically from within large-cap stocks,ö he adds.

Service providers are Morgan Stanley as prime broker, GGK as auditor, and SS&C Fund Services as hedge fund administrator.