Hedge fund industry participants have welcomed the expansion of a relatively new workshop programme from Hong Kong to Japan and Singapore. 

Inflection Point Intelligence (IPI), in collaboration with Henley Business School, will launch the Hedge Fund Programme in Singapore in October and in Tokyo in November. 

Experienced industry participants conduct workshops over a six month period for each course. The aim is to help build Asia’s hedge fund community as more fund managers set up shop in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

A spokesperson for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association told AsianInvestor: “Part of the CAIA Association’s vision is to be the catalyst for the best education in alternative investments, and therefore we welcome initiatives such as this.” 

The CAIA Association offers broad qualifications for alternative investments, including hedge funds.

There are also an increasing number of “forward-thinking universities in Asia that are building hedge fund qualifications into their programmes”, said a regional hedge fund industry veteran. He cited Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore as places where that is happening. 

“But there’s nothing commercial out there like [IPI’s programme],” he noted. “I think they are addressing a vacuum – which is probably why they’re doing it.

“The feedback I get is that they’ve got reasonably good people [running the course], though they tend to be industry people, so classroom time is not necessarily teaching – more general interaction.

“My main reservation [about the IPI programme] is that the suggestion seems to be that you take a course and you’re ready for the hedge fund industry,” added the source. “That’s not how it works.” 

But Anna Stephenson, programme adviser and partner at IPI, said: “We found that many in the hedge fund community only knew their own area of expertise. Often, a lawyer might not appreciate fund administration and, in turn, administrators might not know about capital introduction.”

She added that universities typically emphasised portfolio and risk management, and were ill-equipped to explain how the various components interacted to make hedge funds successful. 

Another individual from the hedge fund industry who was involved in setting up the programme said: “We saw people wanting to set up their own firm, but with no idea of the cost involved. They’d be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on things they didn’t need.”

He said he hadn’t yet seen any of those individuals who had completed the course launch a fund yet, “but we have had people looking to collaborate and work together”. In addition, one of those who finished the programme has since taken on a post they would not have qualified for otherwise, he noted.

The first IPI course started in February 2015 in Hong Kong, and the city’s third programme will start this month (September). Singapore’s first course will kick off in October and Japan’s in November. 

The programme is sponsored by Singapore-based fund company Swiss-Asia Financial Services (Swiss-Asia).

Industry figures who will be involved in the programme in Singapore include Roshan Padmadan, fund manager of Luminance Global Fund at Swiss-Asia; Karim Mrani Alaoui, chief investment officer at a single-family office; and Misha Graboi, Asia-Pacific chief executive of hedge fund of funds firm Paamco.