Pascal Guttieres, a former UBS Group banker, is launching a new Hong Kong-based hedge fund, Viridian Asset Management, that will bet on a revival in Asia stock sales after volumes last year fell to the lowest seen in a decade, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The report cites Guttieres as saying that he expects the fund to begin trading this summer, pending regulatory approval, with up to $400m in capital. Viridian is reportedly close to agreeing a multi-year deal with a European insurer for $150m in backing.
Stock sales across the Asia-Pacific region tumbled last year with deal value in Hong Kong, a traditional capital-raising hub for Chinese companies, falling to just $12.6bn, a tenth of the peak seen in 2021.
According to Guttieres, Viridian will likely focus on the Japanese, Indian and South Korean markets in the first two or three years, with an eventual rebound in Hong Kong and China, expected later.
“I think the worst two years are behind us,” he told Bloomberg in a phone interview from Miami. “Not just in Asia, but globally, there is going to be a ramp up in the equity capital markets business in the next two years.”
At UBS, Guttieres headed UBS’s EMEA block trading team in London, before moving to Hong Kong in 2012 to oversee the same business in Asia, excluding Japan. He then spent seven years as a portfolio manager at Segantii Capital Management Ltd in Hong Kong and Dubai. Guttieres is moving back to Hong Kong in June.