Japan Banking Vets Ready Global Macro Hedge Fund

Nov 30 2011 | 12:23pm ET

A pair of former bankers are to launch a global macro hedge fund early next year.

Masaru Koibuchi, formerly at Goldman Sachs, and Kazuho Suzuki, late of Mizuho Corporate Bank, have founded Edgebell Capital Co. in Tokyo. The firm's maiden hedge fund, the Global Macro Strategy, will debut in February with ¥2 billion (US$26 million) in initial assets.

Koibuchi, chief investment officer of the new firm, and Suzuki, chief operating officer, have managed the strategy since April under a limited offering. The fund returned 3.9% in its first five-and-a-half months of trading, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average plummeted 10%.

Edgebell targets 10% to 20% annual returns investing in stock indices, G7 bonds, currencies and commodity exchange-trading funds. The strategy also features strict loss-cut rules.

While the fund's investors are currently all wealthy Japanese, Edgebell plans to set up an offshore fund to allow foreign investors a piece of the new fund.

"We are seeing demand from investors abroad who are looking to invest in global macro funds that are based in yen," Suzuki told Bloomberg News. "Because not many are running a global macro fund, this is the time for us to start."

Koibuchi and Suzuki met in the early 1990s at Industrial Bank of Japan. Suzuki stuck with the firm, which became part of Mizuho Financial Group, eventually rising to head equity index investments for Mizuho Corporate. Koibuchi went on to serve as head of derivative structuring at Lehman Brothers in Tokyo before joining Goldman, where he rose to become head of corporate derivatives structuring in Japan.

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