Zurich-based Harcourt Investment Consulting, a fund of hedge funds firm managing in excess of USD 3bn, is launching the SMAM Asian Dynasty Fund.


The new Cayman Islands-domiciled fund invests in a diversified portfolio of 15-20 Asian hedge funds pursuing opportunities in the Asian markets, including Japan, Greater China, Korea, India, South East Asia and Australia.


Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management (SMAM) is the investment manager of the new fund but utilises investment adviser Harcourt's knowledge and capabilities in top-down asset allocation, bottom-up hedge fund selection and risk management.


The Asian Dynasty Fund doesn't intend to compete with the large mainstream global fund of funds managers, but is looking to add Asian exposure to improve the risk/return profile of client portfolios.


The fund will be marketed mainly to Japanese pension funds and institutional investors including commercial banks and regional banks but will also be attractive for overseas investors.


 "We are very pleased to have been able to secure a mandate from Japan's prime asset management company and see it as the start of a long, strategic relationship," said Philipp Cottier, CEO of Harcourt. "Harcourt has made a key decision early on to deploy significant resources to Asian hedge fund research to be able to work with the best Asian hedge fund managers, and this decision is now bearing its fruits. We are very optimistic on the new fund as the Asian hedge fund industry is developing at high speed and we find increasingly attractive investment opportunities in the area."


Ryoji Maeda, executive director of SMAM's Alternative Investment Group states commented: "SMAM is very pleased to start the strategic partnership with Harcourt, a blue chip fund of funds firm which was selected based on its excellent Asian research capabilities. Asian-focused funds of hedge funds are relatively new to potential investors. However, since the Asian markets are not as efficient as the US and Europe, there are many opportunities to generate alpha without taking too much risk. The first reaction from investors has been very positive and we foresee significant asset inflows over the next six to 12 months."


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