Euro. Hedge Fund Launches Drop, Grow

Oct 29 2013 | 1:04pm ET

It is getting harder to launch a hedge fund—but those that manage the feat are doing so on much stronger footing.

Last year, only 86 European offshore hedge funds debuted, according to EuroHedge, the lowest number since the magazine began keeping track. But those that did were bigger, with an average size in excess of US$100 million, more than twice the average size—less than US$50 million—a decade ago.

Last year's five biggest launches showed that a strong pedigree could be the key to success, especially if that pedigree comes with a check, as well. Four of the five largest—Hengistbury Investment Partners, Naya Management, Stone Milliner Asset Management and Verrazzano Capital Partners, were launched by veterans of The Children's Investment Fund, Moore Capital Management and Gartmore Group. Moore also provided US$800 million to Stone Milliner to help it get off the ground, while Naya's background convinced the Blackstone Group to seed it.

The other largest European launch of the year was Frere Hall Capital Management, headed by former Goldman Sachs oil trader Taimur Hassan.

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