Woori, NewAlpha Eye Cash-Strapped Asian Hedge Funds

Nov 13 2012 | 12:04pm ET

Woori Absolute Partners has joined forces with a French firm to redouble its seeding efforts in Asia.

The Singapore-based arm of South Korea's Woori Investment & Securities and hedge fund incubator NewAlpha Asset Management will raise US$200 million for a seeding joint-venture. The business, which debuted on Nov. 1, will seek out Asian funds that are desperate for new capital—but have found the fundraising environment difficult.

"This is very much a supply and demand imbalance," Woori Absolute co-founder Edward Moon told Reuters. "We see a lot of great supply but the demand in terms of capital chasing that supply has really dwindled and we think that is a great opportunity."

The first beneficiaries of the effort could come in the first quarter, when the j.v. plans to deploy about $25 million to two of the more than 150 firms Woori and NewAlpha have looked at.

The two firms have put up US$50 million themselves and are now fundraising in Asia and Europe.

The new venture is not the first partnership between Woori and NewAlpha: The two firms launched an Asia-based emerging hedge fund seeding fund last summer.

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