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Fairfield Straits Lion launches new Asian long-short equity fund

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Fairfield Straits Lion Asset Management Limited (FSL) has added further Asian long/short equity expertise to its platform with the Fairfield Areca Asian Equity Fund.

Fairfield Straits Lion Asset Management Limited (FSL) has added further Asian long/short equity expertise to its platform with the Fairfield Areca Asian Equity Fund.

FSL, the dedicated Asian hedge fund management and distribution arm developed as a joint venture between Fairfield Greenwich Limited, a Fairfield Greenwich Group (“FGG”) company, and Lion Capital Management Limited (“Lion Capital”). FSL’s team of investment, operations, marketing, and client service professionals are based in Singapore and serve investors throughout Asia, excepting Japan.

The investment objective of the Fairfield Areca fund, FSL’s fourth new launch since August 2005, is to achieve superior absolute returns with relatively low total portfolio volatility or risk through investments in Asia-Pacific equities and equity-related instruments. Millennia Investment Management Pte Ltd will act as sub-Advisor using equity hedged, pairs trades, and Asian private placement transactions strategies.

“With the launch of Fairfield Areca, FSL is pleased to appoint our first Singapore-based sub-advisor,” says Tong Foo Cheong, CEO of FSL. “Millennia is run by highly experienced principals who adhere to an absolute-return discipline developed from years of fund management, private equity, and investment banking involvement.”

Millennia was founded by Seah Kiat Seng, the current Managing Director, who has 17 years of public and private equity investment experience in Asia. Seah was with Morgan Stanley from 1990 to 1999 where, as a pioneer member of the team, he helped to build and establish that firm’s USD 4 billion AUM investment management business in Asia. As a Principal of the firm, he was also a senior member of Morgan Stanley’s Asian Equity, Global Emerging Markets, and Global Real Estate investment teams.

From 1995 to 1998, Seah directed Morgan Stanley’s equity investment activities in Greater China, South Korea, and Taiwan and was the portfolio manager of the NYSE-listed Malaysia Fund Inc and the Thai Fund Inc, both established under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation, between 1990 and 1994. He also concurrently assumed equity investment responsibilities for Singapore, Philippines, India, and Pakistan, while in 1998 Seah founded and headed Morgan Stanley’s Asia Real Estate Securities Investment business. Prior to starting Millennia, he was Managing Director and a member of the Investment Committee of Springboard-Harper Investment, a venture capital firm based in Singapore

Millennia’s other principal, Ooi Joon Hin, has over 11 years of financial advisory and capital markets experience in Asia having worked with Lehman Brothers’ Investment Banking Division from 1994 to 2002 in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He served as Senior Vice President and Co-head of Lehman Brothers Asia Energy Group from 2001-2002 and prior to that was Vice President of corporate finance execution for Lehman Brothers Southeast Asian investment banking team. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Ooi was a senior accountant with Grant Thornton in New York from 1988 to 1992.

The third member of the Millennia team, Herbert Hui, has 18 years experience in equity research.  He was formerly a senior regional banking analyst at leading investment banks including Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston.

“We believe our fundamental research-driven approach, sector capabilities, and capital market experience give us a sustainable knowledge advantage and help us to add value on both the long and short sides of our portfolio in countries and sectors across Asia,” says Seah. “We intend to continue to seek to deliver consistent returns using minimal or low leverage, a strong risk management discipline, and a focus on capital preservation.”

As with all of the core funds on the FGG and FSL platforms, Fairfield Areca will provide full portfolio transparency to the securities level to FGG and FSL to enable timely risk analysis and compliance monitoring.  The Fund’s administrator and auditor are Citco and KPMG, respectively.

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