Japan’s Atom Fund Posts Singular Returns

Jan 29 2009 | 1:23am ET

One of the few female hedge fund managers in Japan is proving money management isn’t just a man’s game in the land of the Rising Sun.

Atsuko Tsuchiya’s Atom Japan Equity Fund returned 18% last year, according to Bloomberg News. While that return is impressive on its own, it becomes even more so when compared to the roughly 20% loss suffered by the average hedge fund in 2008.

What’s more, Tsuchiya’s fund simply blew by other funds investing in her native Japan: The average Japan-focused fund lost about one-third of its value last year.

The ¥3 billion (US$33 million) fund employs event-driven and equity long/short strategies. Tsuchiya founded the fund after leaving Merrill Lynch, where she was a managing director, with Sumisho Capital Management, part of Sumitomo Corp. Her hedge fund pedigree includes stints at Citadel Investment Group and Sparx Group, Asia’s largest, if also most troubled, hedge fund firm.

Tsuchiya told Bloomberg that she has her eye on companies that sold unprofitable assets to continue her run this year.

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