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George Walker, the Chairman and CEO of US asset management firm Neuberger Berman that manages USD3.7 billion in fund of hedge fund assets globally, is looking to focus his attention on China and Korea and consider allocating capital into Asian hedge funds, reports AsianInvestor this week. Traditionally, the firm used proprietary capital but is now looking to make investments in partnership with clients as the Volcker Rule begins to erode banks’ assets in alternative products. Currently, about 10 per cent of Neuberger’s assets are invested in Asia-focused funds, with Walker revealing that interest in Asia is being driven by the firm’s existing clients as opposed to management sitting around deciding where to invest. Walker said the firm had been overweight Asia for some time and didn’t see that changing. Indeed, the firm has applied for a qualified foreign institutional investor license in China to pursue equity investments according to AsianInvestor. With respect to Korea, where the firm has won several mandates recently, more staff might be hired although whether that will be in Seoul or elsewhere remains to be seen.


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