Imperia Investment Group, headed by ex-Citadel executive Simon Leversha, has scaled up its event-driven hedge fund to $65 million in assets under management, having taken in around $50 million earlier this month, including a sizeable allocation from a major global investor.
The Melbourne-based firm runs the Imperia Asia Offshore Fund, which is one of Asia’s best-performing event-driven strategies. In the 12 months since its June 2010 inception, its returns were in excess of 25% after fees, says Vernon Van Eck, Imperia's chief operating officer.
“There were good opportunities in the event space in Asia over that time, and we capitalised on those,” he notes. “A lot of the events unfolded quicker than we anticipated – especially last year, when we thought that events which might take months to realise were realising within weeks.”
The fund invests in Asian securities that will be affected by corporate events – such as mergers, spin-offs, restructurings and litigations – over three- to six-month timeframes. It is capable of managing more than $1 billion, says Van Eck.
The Imperia Asia Offshore Fund, which launched with less than $10 million in partner capital, has seen its client base grow steadily to include US investors, family offices, high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions from Japan and other Asian markets.
“At $65 million, we’re confident we can now get inflows from some of the larger investors without them exceeding their risk limits,” says Van Eck. “Our next goal is to invest this money well and generate good performance on the higher AUM.”
Leversha, who previously ran Citadel’s Asian event-driven strategy out of Tokyo, serves as the firm’s chief investment officer.
Imperia recently set up a Hong Kong operation, which is in the process of registering with the city’s Securities and Futures Commission. Amy Zhang, formerly at Blackstone and SAC Capital, and Brett Min, ex-Magnetar and Citadel, will manage the Greater China and Korean components of the pan-Asian strategy out of Hong Kong.