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U.S. Hedge Fund Verition Plans Singapore Office, Eyes Hong Kong

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Verition Fund Management is the latest international multi-manager hedge fund to make a foray into Asia, eyeing the region’s fast-expanding capital markets and growing talent pool.

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The $4.5 billion Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm is in the process of registering for a Singapore office with local authorities and is exploring a potential Hong Kong presence, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

It hired Bart Lijnse, an alumnus of market maker Virtu Financial LLC, to be its first portfolio manager in Singapore, where it may eventually employ about 10 people, the person added. Lijnse declined to comment.

Multistrategy funds have attracted nearly $24 billion of fresh capital in the first eight months of 2021, making them the biggest asset winners in a volatile year for hedge funds, according to eVestment data. Flush with money, platforms like ExodusPoint Capital Management that allocate capital among multiple investment firms for smoother returns have been expanding in Asia.

Verition has had an annualized return of 14% since starting in 2008, with no annual loss so far. By contrast, the Eurekahedge hedge fund index has had three down years in that period and with annualized performance half the size. Verition’s fund returned just over 6% this year, said the person.

Its arrival in Asia comes as the region contends with increased geopolitical tensions, increasing regulatory scrutiny in China, and an expected rise in interest rates globally. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index has fallen 1.6% this year, while the S&P 500 jumped 16%.

Verition focuses on niche strategies that offer attractive trading opportunities but can’t accommodate the amounts of capital that larger rivals such as Millennium Management and Point72 Asset Management seek to deploy.

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