Singapore-based hedge fund Alcor has changed direction from its original multi-strategy orientation and has re-vamped as a pure long/short equity hedge fund.

James Johnstone, the last man standing of the four founders of Alcor, has been appointed as new CIO. The ongoing long/short fund is a continuation of AlcorÆs long/short sub-fund which had always been one of the components of its multi-strategy offering.

Kiwi Alastair Nicholson, who had been CIO, has left the firm along with Corey Gustin and support staff. Nicholson once headed equity derivatives for Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong before returning to New Zealand and later becoming a hedge fund manager. He returns once again to New Zealand where he is living the dream of managing his own plantation. He will be trampling the grapes in the vineyard of which he is proprietor, and if you want to try some genuine hedge-fund manager vino, look out for bottles of æRandom WalkÆ pinot noir in your local off-license. His future with the financial markets will be decided at a later date.

Back in the less bacchanalian world of hedge funds, Alcor soldiers on with $85 million of funds under management. They target annual returns of 20% on volatility of 7%. This year the fund is already up 10%. The fund charges management and performance fees of 1.5% and 20%, respectively.

James Johnstone will handle research matters for consumer and TMT, and AlcorÆs new research manager Simon Weston will focus on resources and financials. They will also be hiring several junior analysts.

Alcor had been seeded by CLSA. James Johnstone told AsianInvestor that the CLSA relationship has become even closer and the fund is likely to join the CLSA Capital Partners platform. There, Alcor would join the Clean Resources Asia Fund, the platformÆs other listed equity fund alongside a range of private-equity funds. Clean Resources Asia was started in 2006 by another Alcor founder, Andrew Pidden.