Matchpoint IM ex-CIO, founder banned

Raaj Shah, former chief investment officer and co-founder of the Hong Kong hedge fund manager, cannot re-enter the industry for 12 months.
Matchpoint IM ex-CIO, founder banned

In what may spell the end for what is left of Hong Kong hedge fund Matchpoint Investment Management Asia, its co-founder and former chief investment officer has been banned for a year.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Raaj Shah from re-entering the industry for 12 months from 10 March 2016 to 9 March 2017.

Between January 2009 and May 2014 Shah, a responsible officer of Matchpoint IM Asia, failed to disclose all his personal accounts and obtain prior approval for securities transactions, in breach of the firm’s staff personal trading policy. 

Shah circumvented Matchpoint’s employee trading policies, which meant the firm could not monitor his personal trading activities. The SFC considers that his conduct calls into question his fitness and properness to be a licensed person.

Shah was licensed to conduct type 9 (asset management) regulated activity. He was accredited to Matchpoint from 4 September 2009 to 6 July 2015. He is currently not a licensed person under the SFO.

The firm had reportedly launched in October 2009, founded by ex-Och Ziff partner Shah and Sean Debow, previously Asia managing director of Ivory Capital.

Debow left Matchpoint with portfolio manager Jae Kim in December 2014 to set up a hedge fund for Kuwait asset manager Asiya’s Hong Kong business. Chief operating officer Ken Chuen departed in the same month and joined Wolver Hill Asset Management as COO in October last year, according to his LinkedIn page.

A source said Matchpoint had close to $500 million under management at its peak, having launched in 2009 with $25 million. Shah is believed to have subsequently turned it into a family office with around $20 million in AUM.

Neither Matchpoint nor Shah could be reached for comment by press time.

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