Strategist Famed For 'Irrelevance' Report To Launch Japan Hedge Fund

Oct 3 2011 | 1:29pm ET

A Morgan Stanley strategist is set to launch a hedge fund investing in a country he famously deemed "irrelevant" a decade ago.

Alexander Kinmont has founded Milestone Asset Management Co. with plans to launch his first hedge fund later this month. Tokyo-based Milestone is already running a long-only fund.

The long/short fund is still in the planning stages, Kinmont, who left Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities in July, told Bloomberg News.

"We're starting the fund now because Japan is cheap for the first time in a generation," Kinmont said. "The fundraising environment is extremely difficult, but experience shows when it's difficult to raise money, it's usually the case that capital can be invested at attractive returns."

That sentiment is quite a turnaround for the man who, in 2002 while at Nikko Citigroup, wrote a research report entitled "The Irrelevance of Japan," which called the country little more than "a laboratory experiment concerning deflation." But he changed his mind two years ago, offering a new report entitled, obviously, "The Relevance of Japan."

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