New Canadian Financials Hedge Fund On The Horizon

Nov 30 2009 | 2:47am ET

A pair of veteran financial services analysts at Canada’s National Bank is gearing up to launch a hedge fund next year.

Hamilton Capital is the brainchild of Rob Wessel and Jennifer Mersereau, both late of National Bank’s NBC Alternative Investments. The new fund is set to debut in February, seeded by National Bank.

Hamilton will focus on financial services. “The time is right for such a fund,” Wessel told the National Post. “We will be specialists in a field of generalists.”

Wessel said that the continuing credit crisis and ensuing “echo effect,” as well as specifically Canadian circumstance, offer many opportunities for a new hedge fund.

“Financials are 25% of the TSX and of that, about 80% is in nine companies,” Wessel said. “It’s been fine over the last 20 years, but going forward more consideration may have to be given to that concentration.”

The long/short fund will invest across 15 subsectors and choose stocks from a universe of more than 1,000 names. It will not use leverage.

To assist on their new venture, Wessel and Mersereau have hired a pair of analysts, Babak Assadi and Derek Smith, and has named three financial executives to its board of directors and advisory committee.

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