AAA Partners, CLSA To Seed Asian Fund Managers

Aug 10 2007 | 6:15am ET

Newly-formed emerging manager specialist Asia Alternative Asset Partners and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets Group, a research and brokerage house, have entered into a joint venture to provide seed capital and global distribution for Asia-focused hedge fund managers.

According to terms of the agreement, CLSA will take an equity stake in the investment holding company of AAA and will help to raise a fund that will in turn seed more than 30 new Asian alternative funds over a five-year period. The offering, which is expected to launch in November, and is looking to raise US$300 million.

New managers will be provided with start-up working capital in return for a minority equity interest in their companies. In addition, AAA will also provide managers with seed capital and both firms will help distribute the managers’ funds globally. AAA plans to invest US$150 million in the next 12 months.

“We bring a tremendous amount of experience in selecting and working with hedge fund managers,” said Warren Wibbelsman, a director at AAA. “CLSA, given their significant presence and distribution in Asia, is a very good match to accomplish the goal of nurturing startup and emerging managers.”

Wibbelsman added that an investment committee comprised of CLSA and AAA members will be formed to decide on how to deploy the seed capital. “We currently have relationships with two funds: a Pan-Asia equity long/short strategy and a Japanese real estate long/short strategy, and they’ll be going in front of the investment committee for potential seeding.”

Los Angeles and Hong Kong-based AAA is headed by Hans Tiedemann, Paul Smith and Roger Pyrke. CLSA is an independent investment banking, capital markets, equity broking and asset management firm headquartered in Hong Kong.

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