Hedge fund Lim Advisors has lost its chief operating officer, with the responsibilities being split between two individuals.
After a decade in the role the COO has left for personal reasons.
But the Hong Kong-based hedge fund has recently made high-profile hires to its investment team, which has been seen as dispelling the negative image which can arise when a COO departs.
Oscar Wan left the $2 billion hedge fund manager at the end of April, after 10 years in the role. A newsletter sent to investors in March announced that Wan was departing “to attend to family matters”.
Oscar Wan’s role as COO at Lim has now been split between Graham Ernst and Ben Mak.
Following Wan’s departure, Ernst has assumed the COO role while Mak has taken on the dual roles of chief financial officer and chief compliance officer. Both had reported to Wan since joining the firm in October 2007 and December 2010 respectively.
Wan had been working with Ernst on a major software implementation project at the time of his departure. On May 26, Danish portfolio management software provider SimCorp announced that it had reached a “milestone agreement” to provide its Dimension product to Lim Advisors, integrating front, middle and back office systems.
Prior to joining Lim, Ernst spent a decade working for consulting firm Accenture, which specialises in systems integration projects.
Nearly all of Lim’s AUM is sourced from institutional investors, said one source. Several other sources confirmed that pension funds are attracted to the kind of low volatility, lower return strategies that Lim Advisors runs.
Hedge fund managers have been placing more emphasis on risk and data management as they attract more capital from institutional investors. A report released last week by data provider Preqin stated that the number of institutional investors allocating more than $1 billion into hedge funds has risen to 227 from 203 a year ago, with public pension funds accounting for the largest share of that group.
The firm’s flagship Lim Asia multi-strategy fund – which accounts for around half of Lim’s AUM –
targets a 8-12% annual return. That fund rose about 4% in the first five months of this year. The firm also offers (as separate funds) some of the strategies which form part of the multi-strategy fund, namely special situations, Japan and illiquid asset-focused funds.
Lim has recently boosted its investment team significantly, adding high-profile portfolio managers, and Donald Ewer started at the firm in late May while Toby Bartlett joined in April.
Those hires have helped dispel the negative perception usually surrounding the departure of a COO. As one source put it, “when a COO moves it usually highlights the last gasp for a fund”.
One of this year’s highest-profile hedge fund launches – Zentific Investment Management suffered a change in COO before it even started trading, possibly mitigating the negative effects of a later departure.
Michael Friedlander served as Zentific IM’s COO and chief risk officer between September 2014 and April 2015 and has since been an advisor to the firm. His apparent replacement Christopher Jackson has served as Zentific IM’s COO since April 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile.