Funnex Names New President With China In Mind

Jun 25 2010 | 7:15am ET

Japanese hedge fund Funnex Asset Management believes that its future lies to the southeast, and has remade its management team to reflect that.

The Tokyo-based firm has hired Xiao Minjie, formerly a senior economist at the Daiwa Institute of Research in China, as its new president. He took over earlier this month from founding president Masaru Nishizawa as the firm plans for its long-term future.

“The biggest opportunities and changes are taking place in Asia, especially China, and how we position ourselves to leverage that big chance will be the key to survival,” Nishizawa, who remains Funnex’s chief investment officer and is now its chairman, told Bloomberg News. “In doing so, it makes very little sense for a Japanese like me, who speaks not a word of Chinese, to be heading the firm.”

Funnex is making its move now, although its timeline for beginning to invest outside of Japan is two or three years. The firm also plans to add a Chinese native to its board of directors this summer.

“We want the Asian investors to better understand Japan and by doing so, we want to capture their assets,” Xiao told Bloomberg. Funnex’s client base is currently evenly divided between Japan and Europe.

Funnex may also seek some sort of alliance with a Chinese firm to increase its presence in that market, Xiao said.


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