Kurt Baker rides again

The former patriarch of AsiaÆs prime broking community is developing a new Hong Kong platform to nurture a stable of asset management thoroughbreds.

Kurt Baker has revealed his plans to build an asset management platform based in Hong Kong. Until late 2008 he was the head of Asian prime broking for Morgan Stanley.

The venture, as yet unnamed, is now in its late-development stage and will launch in the latter half of 2009. Baker is in the process of finding prospective managers and investors.

The platform will cater to three different types of strategies: long/short, long-only benchmark agnostic and long-only benchmark relative. It will target new hedge fund managers and spin-outs from existing funds and will offer them the opportunity to start their own investment business with risk, settlement and compliance all taken care of by his team.

Those managers will receive in large part the traditional cash economics of their business, while conceding ownership to the platform, in the usual methodology for such arrangements.

Baker says that he is still deciding which firms he wishes to use as prime broker and other service providers and he is talking to infrastructure, office space and systems providers.

He hopes that this platform will in some way emulate other asset management platforms that have operated in Asia, but he says that his platform will learn from their mistakes. He is looking for staff, including a chief risk officer and chief operating officer, so that the platform is ready to go live in the near future.

He will announce both those hires and his new stable of managers in the near future.

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