Former Citadel, Highbridge Manager Plans North Asia Hedge Fund

Toby Bartlett, a former manager at Citadel LLC and Highbridge Capital Management LLC, plans to start his own North Asia-focused stock hedge fund as soon as next month, according to a document given to potential investors.

The market-neutral equity long-short fund from Bartlett’s Hong Kong-based Arena Capital will be focused on domestic-demand industries in Japan and South Korea, according to the document obtained by Bloomberg News. Bartlett declined to comment on plans for the fund in an e-mailed response to questions.

Investors are seeking out hedge funds whose returns are less tied to the direction of stock markets which have gyrated amid concerns about the European debt crisis and a global economic slowdown. The HFRI Fund-Weighted Index declined 5 percent in 2011, the second worst year for the industry since Chicago-based data provider Hedge Fund Research Inc. started to track the data in 1990.

HFRI’s Equity Market-Neutral Index slipped 0.2 percent in May, the worst month for hedge funds since September. It outperformed HFRI Equity Hedge (Total) Index, which dropped 4 percent for the month.

Bartlett’s fund will trade stocks, whose prices are moving because of events such as earnings reports, share buybacks or mergers and acquisitions, according to the document. It targets industries including retail, food and beverage, telecommunications, Internet, health care and services.

Bartlett was an Asian equity fund manager for Highbridge between 2009 and 2011, according to the document. He helped manage Japan stock investments for Citadel between 2007 and 2009. He had also been a fund manager and a lead analyst focused on various industries for Fidelity Investments Japan.

The document, given to potential investors before a Morgan Stanley conference in Shanghai last month, didn’t provide information on his performance records.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bei Hu in Hong Kong at bhu5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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