The HANRiver Core Fund will be launched in July by the new Singapore-based asset management company HANRiver Capital. The firm hopes to start the fund with assets of $30 million and expand that to $50 million in the first year. Currently, they are focusing exclusively on Korea, though in the mid-term may invest in other Asian countries.

The three principals û Klaus Kim, Shawn Kim, and Eunice Lee û all met when they worked together at Shinhan Bank. More recently, the fund CEO Klaus Kim worked at SH Asset Management. The HANRiver CIO Shawn Kim ran the Korea Contrarian Fund at KITMC for a year-and-a-half and then had a spell at Hong Kong hedge fund managers Newtonian. Eunice Lee, the head of research at HANRiver, was also at Newtonian as a long/short fund manager and has also worked at Samsung.

The core fund will target returns of 20% per annum, on volatility of less than 10%. Strategy is long/short, which will be handled by Eunice Lee, combined with deep value investing, with longer holding periods, which will be managed by Shawn Kim.

Maximum gross exposure will be 100%-200% and maximum net exposure will be -10% to 90%. Normally, the range will be 70% long to 30% short. Fees are 2% and 20%.

The investor profile is expected to be split 50-50 between Korean investors, such as Korean pension funds, and foreign investors. At present they are on the look-out for more foreign investors.

ôI think itÆs the right time to invest in the Korea market,ö says Shawn Kim. ôThe recent plunge in the stockmarket could give us an attractive entry price level. Secondly, after the election of members for the National Assembly, the new government could start to deregulate some industries, such as finance, construction and media. Thirdly, this year, we expect sector-rotating trading trends in the Korean market, which means that not long-only but long/short funds could be the winners in the market.ö

Service providers are UBS as prime broker, Swiss Financial as administrators, and Walkers and Lajar and Tann as the lawyers.