Swiss Hedge Fund Calls It Quits, For Now

May 14 2008 | 11:58am ET

Another hedge fund shop has called it quits and this time performance, or lack thereof, is the culprit.

Altendorf, Switzerland-based Hedge Vision Capital, an emerging manager focused on Asia, specifically Japan, has stopped trading its 13-month old US$14 million Hedge Vision Japan Fund. The move follows a series of bad directional bets, which led to massive drawdowns and redemptions earlier this year.

The firm now looking for new seed investors to relaunch the fund after its lead seed investor pulled out, leading to the exodus of smaller investors.

The fund launched in November 2006, pursuing a strategy of long/short Japan-only, directional- and trading-oriented strategies, and, according to the firm, its U.S. dollar Class rose 6.57% last year, ranking it 13th out of the 77 funds reporting under L/S Japan in AsiaHedge, outperforming the Japan L/S Index by 9%.

However, the strategy suffered heavy losses in January, with the dollar class down 14.13% due to “being positioned on the wrong side, with reasonable gross exposure, at a time when markets were very wild.”

The firm stopped trading the fund at the end of January and wound it down as of the end of March.

“What we’re trying to do is wind down the fund but keep it as an empty shell as we continue to look for a new seed investor,” said Philippe Gilliard, managing partner.

Gilliard said the firm remains bullish on Japan stating that “With the whole world underweight in Japan and funds throwing in the towel, those who can stay in business may have really big opportunities when it turns.”

Hedge Vision was founded by Stefan Bollhalder, formerly head of Asia equity trading at Bank Julius Baer Zurich HQ.


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