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Joel Perlman, President and co-founder of Copal Partners

Copal Partners anticipate threefold growth in Beijing

Copal Partners, the market leader in knowledge process outsourcing with 1,200 employees worldwide, anticipates its Beijing operation expanding threefold over the next 18 months as banks and hedge funds look to downsize their research teams. Effectively mirroring China’s (and India’s) economic expansion, the trend to outsource research and analytics to third parties such as Copal is becoming ever popular. “Our Beijing office has been open for 18 months,” Joel Perlman (pictured), President and co-founder of Copal Partners, tells Hedgeweek. “We currently have 50 employees in Beijing but that should rise to 150 within 18 months,” adds Perlman, who expects 50 per cent of expected growth to come from investment banking analytics. “The other 50 per cent will be split equally between hedge funds, private equity and sell-side equity research with a Pan-Asian remit.” China’s hedge fund industry is still in its infancy, but Perlman sees it as a massive growth area: “The industry has grown from 15 funds in 2005 to 250 today; it’s a sector we’re going to stay focused on.” Unlike Copal’s Delhi-based research centre, whose English-speaking employees produce bespoke reports for global clients, its Beijing operation is centred purely on the China/Hong Kong/Singapore markets where Mandarin is spoken. “The domestic-based funds are a tough nut to crack which is why we concentrate on QFIIs and Hong Kong funds with a China focus,” explains Perlman, adding that “China is a decade away from producing graduates with English capabilities as good as India.”

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