Man Seeder Backs Ex-Fortress Hong Kong Chief’s New Fund

Aug 19 2009 | 2:41am ET

The Man Group is backing a new hedge fund founded by Fortress Investment Group’s former top man in Hong Kong.

Man’s seeding fund, RMF Global Emerging Managers, is investing US$50 million in the Minerva Macro Fund, led by Stanley Ku, who left Fortress in December. The global macro offering will focus on Asian investments.

While at Fortress, Ku set up its Hong Kong office and managed some US$750 million for its Drawbridge Global Macro Fund.

The deal is the second for RMF Global this year. Last month, the fund invested in 5:15 Capital Management, a Connecticut-based hedge fund founded by three Brevan Howard Capital Management veterans. That deal was also for US$50 million.

“Stanley Ku’s work at Fortress and Goldman Sachs has made him a very well respected money manager in Asia,” said Hans Hurschler, head of Man Investments’ hedge fund ventures. “But we are also enthusiastic about investing in this fund early in its development because Minerva invests in the kind of highly liquid assets that are especially appealing to investors following last year’s problems with gating and side pockets.”

Meanwhile, Hurschler is warning his fellow seeders not to take too much advantage of their current paucity of available seed funding for new hedge funds.

“You don’t want loan shark deals,” he told Retuers. “If you take too much, he will not be able to break even and he won’t be able to grow his business. It doesn’t make sense when times are difficult to impose terms that are beneficial to you and compromise the manager’s possibility to survive.”

Hurschler said his firm’s seeding deals only last for “a couple of years.”

“A manager doesn’t want people who in 15 or 20 years are taking money from [him],” he said. "Today’s deals are limited in time. They’re not like private equity deals; they’re like a loan.”

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