Hans Schlaikier, Hedgeweek

Levinson in talks with Fortress over hedge fund launch… Goldman Sachs Asia fund chairman Bolitho to leave…

Adam Levinson, chief investment officer of Fortress Investment Group Inc. (FIG)’s Asia Macro funds, is in talks with the USD58 billion alternative-asset manager about starting his own hedge-fund firm, according to one person familiar with the matter, as reported by Bloomberg.

No decision has been made and a possible spinoff may not take place until early 2015, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Fortress would probably own a portion of the firm and provide back-office support and research, according to the person.

The move would mark the first time Fortress, the first publicly traded private-equity and hedge-fund manager in the US, is seeding a spinoff, said another person familiar with the matter. Levinson, 43, chief executive officer of Fortress’s Singapore unit, manages USD1.8 billion in the Fortress Asia Macro Fund, which rose 13 per cent this year through Oct. 25, one of the people said. The fund gained 21 per cent in 2012, while the HFRI Macro Index was almost unchanged.

Levinson started the Asia-focused macro hedge fund in March 2011 after moving to Singapore, where he works with about 20 others, from New York. He started at the firm in June 2002 as co-CIO of the Fortress Macro Funds, which Michael Novogratz, principal at Fortress, founded and co-runs. That USD3.4 billion flagship hedge-fund strategy rose 10 per cent this year through Oct. 25, according to one of the people, and 18 per cent in 2012.

Levinson was previously a fund manager at Paul Tudor Jones’s hedge-fund firm Tudor Investment Corp. and a proprietary trader at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., spending nine years in the bank’s Hong Kong, Tokyo and London offices managing portfolios focused on Group-of-10 and emerging-market risk.

Bloomberg reports that Oliver Bolitho, chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s fund management division in Asia, is leaving after 15 years at the company, according to an internal memo.

Bolitho will become an advisory director after his retirement at the end of the year, according to the Nov. 4 memo obtained by Bloomberg. Christopher Jun, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs in Seoul, confirmed the contents of the memo.

Bolitho, a U.K. citizen, served as head of Goldman Sachs’s UK and Irish institutional business from 2001 until moving to Hong Kong in 2007 to run the fund business in Asia outside of Japan. A partner since 2008, Bolitho became chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management last year.

His departure comes almost a year after Goldman Sachs Asset Management moved Sheila Patel to Singapore from London to lead the fund business in Asia outside of Japan and said that Bolitho would report to Patel.

Goldman Sachs had USD878 billion of assets under management as of Sept. 30, according to the New York-based company’s third-quarter earnings report. The company doesn’t report how much of that is in Asia.
 
Swiss fund-of-hedge-funds manager Gottex will form a joint venture with China's VStone Asset Management, to further its aim to invest in Asia and raise capital from the region.

Founded in 2008 by Dr Jiwu Chen, a former chief investment officer at Fullgoal Fund Management and China Life, VStone will help Gottex establish a foothold in Asia's biggest economy and help its global clients get access to China investments.
"The objective is to build out Gottex capability in China and to be able to provide our investors access to China's onshore markets across equity, fixed income and private equity," Gottex co-founder Max Gottschalk told Reuters.
 
The Maples group is expanding its presence in the Asia Pacific region with the launch of the full service offering of MaplesFS in Singapore.

Maples Fund Services (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. will focus on providing middle office, data aggregation and reporting, and fund administration services to Singapore domiciled funds established by family offices, private wealth managers and institutional investors.  In addition, the team will service Cayman Islands funds that require on the ground support from Singapore.  Eastern Fong, Regional Head of Fund Services - Asia, will head the Singapore team.  
 
Maples Fiduciary (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. will be under the leadership of Hugh Thompson, Global Co-Head of Fiduciary, who has 14 years experience at the Maples group acting as a director on investment funds and structured finance vehicles.  Hugh will be leading the development of Maples Fiduciary, which will include company formation, registered office, company secretarial, client accounting, voluntary liquidations, and directorship services for Singapore domiciled entities.  In addition, the team in Singapore will provide director services for Cayman, Hong Kong and British Virgin Islands domiciled entities where an Asian time zone presence is needed. Clients will also have access to Maples eServices, which is a proprietary web-based portal that provides a single view to manage all global entity information.
 
MaplesFS Chief Executive Officer, Scott Somerville, said, "We are excited about the opportunity that Singapore creates as a jurisdiction, particularly as it relates to business arising from family offices, institutional investors, hedge funds and private equity. Our presence in Singapore will significantly boost our brand as a regional offering with close ties to our existing office in Hong Kong.”
 

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