Lazard has shuttered an activist hedge fund focused on Korea, a vehicle that never lived up to its promise.
The Korea Corporate Governance Fund debuted in 2006 with a US$600 million capacity; Lazard called it the first socially-responsible investment fund in South Korea. Despite a US$100 million investment from the California Public Employees Retirement System at the beginning of 2008, the fund never neared that capacity, topping out at about US$300 million just in time to lose more than 40% in 2008.
The fund, which invested in small- and mid-sized companies, rebounded in 2009 and 2010, returning 11% and 29.5%, respectively. But it plummeted 19.4% last year, leaving it with a market value of just US$67.8 million.
Lazard said it will offer clients in the fund its Korean equities strategy, Asian Investor reports.