Start-up hedge fund Imperia hires Amy Zhang

Simon Leversha’s new alternative investment firm Imperia Investment Group plans to launch an event-driven strategy this week.

New Melbourne-based hedge fund Imperia Investment Group will launch an event-driven strategy, the Imperia Asia Offshore Fund, later this week.

The firm also plans to open a Hong Kong office in the third quarter, and the first member of staff to be announced for that office is Amy Zhang, who used to work at Blackstone and SAC Capital. She will manage the Greater China component of Imperia's pan-Asian strategy.

Imperia was founded by Simon Leversha, who, as a managing director, used to run the Asian event-driven strategy for Citadel in Tokyo. He left that company in 2006.

The new fund is expected to launch with under $10 million in assets, but its capacity is estimated in the multi-billions. The investment thesis is to look at the 'middle to hard end' of the event spectrum. What that means is spin-offs, M&A, regulatory angles, litigation and minority buyouts, rather than 'soft end' earnings revision-type positioning.

The fund will be market-neutral, with short positions expressed by, inter alia, baskets and through pairs trades. There's a 2% management fee and 20% performance fee, and the fund offers quarterly liquidity on 60 days' notice.

Joining Leversha and Zhang are Vernon Van Eck, who is chief operating officer and performed a similar role at Ellerston Capital, and Hector Colon, who will look after trading and technology. He too used to work at Citadel.

Prime brokers to Imperia are Morgan Stanley and UBS.

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