Northpoint hires COO in Singapore

Ex-Bermuda marketer Steiness has joined the Singapore-based, Korea-focused hedge fund.

Jesper Steiness has joined Northpoint Investment Partners in Singapore as senior partner where he will serve as COO and head of client service and marketing. He comes from Bank of Bermuda in Hong Kong, where he had been drumming up fund administration business, but left in the wake of HSBC's acquisition of the firm.

A lot of his time with Bermuda had been spent in South Korea, and hedge fund start-up Northpoint was one of the clients he brought into Bermuda's fold. Its managing director, Nam-Ki Hong, contacted Steiness when he learned he had left Bermuda to explore the possibility of a role at Northpoint.

Although based in Singapore, Northpoint's focus is Korea, where it has four analysts based in addition to Hong. It also has two analysts in Singapore so those two markets are where it has begun investing. The long/short equity absolute return fund, domiciled in the Caymans, has only about $1 million of assets under management, consisting of the partners' money and money from their families. It launched in April and plans to build a track record before actively marketing the fund.

Steiness's COO role will include areas like risk management and compliance, but he will also assume the marketing role when the time comes to seek third-party investments, which may begin at the end of the year.

"Potential investors like funds of funds get annoyed when the hedge fund manager travels to Europe or the US to see them, because they worry about who's actually managing the fund," Steiness says. So his hire will allow Hong and the other two senior partners - Peter Elston and Paulo Rhee - to concentrate on portfolio management.