GAM sets up hedge fund research unit in Hong Kong

Fund of funds manager responds to maturing Asian hedge fund industry by setting up a team on the ground.

GAM has announced it is establishing a hedge fund research unit in Hong Kong to monitor and evaluate its existing and potential investments into hedge funds. GAM has a range of multi-manager hedge fund products and a team consisting of over 35 people with offices in London and New York.

The establishment of the Hong Kong unit is intended to further deepen existing research capabilities by basing a team of dedicated specialists in the region itself to cover the Asian hedge fund industry, which is growing in breadth and maturity.

"The range of hedge fund strategies is evolving in Asia, as witnessed in Europe in the mid-1990s... a broader mix is emerging, moving away from the earlier established equity hedge strategies, which are now joined by a much wider range, including trading and arbitrage," says a GAM spokesman.

The research unit will be based within GAM's Hong Kong office, and will report to Kier Boley, investment manager responsible for GAM's emerging market and Asian multi-manager investments. Initially, the unit will comprise of an analyst and support staff.

GAM's Asian fund of hedge funds, managed by Boley, was launched in 2001 and was one of the earlier Asia-focused fund of fund products to hit the market. In an interview with AsianInvestor in March, Boley said the fund stood at $260 million and was soft closed. He also estimated that GAM managed $16 billion in fund of hedge fund assets, of which about $500m to $1 billion was invested in Asian strategy hedge funds.