OP Investment Management (Opim) has invested in Maiora Global Macro, in a deal that adds the Singapore-based manager to its fund incubation platform.

Opim has taken an undisclosed minority stake in specialist global macro fund manager Maiora under the agreement, and will provide the firm with marketing, distribution, operational and risk management support.

Maiora is headed by Lucas Weatherill, a former chief investment strategist and head of institutional fixed income in Asia-Pacific for Deutsche Asset Management. The firm manages a Global Macro Long Short Fund and Global Income Fund.  

Maiora’s total AUM is under $50 million, “but we are hopeful of growing this in the coming months”, says Michael Stockford, chief executive of Opim – the asset management arm of Hong Kong-based financial services group Oriental Patron.

Maiora’s funds will utilise Opim’s institutional-grade infrastructure and gain from the firm’s investor relationships, “principally in China”, says Weatherill, who serves as chief investment officer of Maiora Global Macro.

Established in 2009, the platform has 10 funds run by five managers, with a total AUM of $200 million. The funds “are a mix of hedge funds, long-only absolute return funds and long-only Ucits-regulated structures”, says Stockford.  

The Opim platform, which has no external investors, takes on fund managers via an equity stake, revenue-sharing agreement, or a mixture of the two, says Stockford.  Revenue-sharing deals are the most prevalent arrangement, he adds.

Stockford is in talks with emerging managers “who can bring critical mass and a marketable product” to the platform. He adds: “We are currently in talks with a few such managers."

Smaller new funds, particularly in the alternatives space, have found it difficult to survive amid rising operational costs in the post-crisis era. This has given rise to fund incubators and platforms in Asia, which provide emerging managers with institutional-grade platforms, risk management and marketing assistance, in return for a share of fund revenues or an equity stake.

The past few years has seen the establishment of a hedge fund platform by DragonBack Capital in Hong Kong, and the Asian entry of European incubators New Alpha Asset Management and IMQubator.

New Alpha has partnered Woori Absolute Partners in Singapore to run a seeding programme for Asia-based managers, while IMQubator has a similar agreement in place with Hong Kong fund-of-hedge-funds firm Synergy Fund Management.

“[Managers] understand that if you’re going after institutional money you need to have an institutional infrastructure behind you,” says Stockford. “That takes time, money and expertise.”