SkyBridge Capital LLC, organizer of the biggest U.S. hedge-fund event, raised its assets by 24 percent to $8.3 billion and allocated more money to Asian managers ahead of its second conference in the region.
Assets have increased from $6.7 billion when it held its Asian inaugural SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, known as SALT, last October in Singapore, Managing Partner Anthony Scaramucci said. Its Series G flagship fund, which has put money with Third Point LLC run by billionaire hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb, is up 7.1 percent this year through July, according to a letter sent to investors. The Eurekahedge Fund of Funds Index has gained 3.7 percent in the period.
“In a period of great market uncertainty and post-crisis, investors are seeking an appropriate risk-return profile,” Scaramucci said in a telephone interview.
More than 10 percent of the new allocations into the offshore offerings came from Asia, said Scaramucci, who sees growing appetite from countries including Japan and South Korea for investments that deliver high returns with low volatility. Investments in Asia-based managers have increased in the past year, he said, declining to elaborate.
Japanese hedge funds have returned 18 percent this year through the end of July, according to Eurekahedge Pte, a Singapore-based data provider, driven by expectations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pull the country out of deflation and boost the economy.
“Dramatic macroeconomic changes” are being implemented in the world’s third-largest economy, Scaramucci said.
“What that means over the next five to 10 years is that if the Japanese economy starts to do better, it would help the rest of Asia,” he said.
As part of its push to expand in Asia, New York-based SkyBridge announced a strategic partnership with South Korea’s Woori Investment & Securities in July. SkyBridge will distribute its hedge-fund products in Asia through the partnership, while Seoul-based Woori will allocate capital to SkyBridge’s fund-of-hedge-funds vehicle, according to the U.S. company.
The Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund Index returned 7.9 percent through July, the best performer among five regional indexes, based on preliminary figures, as Japanese managers led the gains. The global gauge has increased 3.6 percent, while the North American index has added 5.4 percent, according to Eurekahedge.
The SALT event, which will be held at the Marina Bay Sands next month, will host speakers including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Jin Liqun, former chairman of the board of supervisors at China Investment Corp., and managers from Fortress Investment Group LLC and Korea Investment Corp., according to the organizer.
For SALT “to be in Asia two years in a row tells us there is continued interest in Asia and the growing Asian hedge-fund industry,” said Will Tan, managing director at Singapore-based recruiting firm Principle Partners Pte. “Like most conferences, SALT is demand-driven so clearly this is a positive for Asia and for Singapore as a hedge-fund hub.”
About 1,000 people are expected to attend the four-day conference, according to the company. SkyBridge has been holding the SALT conference since 2009 in Las Vegas. The event in the gaming center in May attracted 1,900 people from 27 countries, according to SkyBridge.
The flagship fund returned a net 21.29 percent in 2012, aided by its investment in Third Point’s hedge fund, the letter to investor showed. The Series G fund benefited from allocations into funds that invested in structured credit and fixed-income mortgage-backed securities. Funds of hedge funds spread investors’ money across a variety of holdings.
Before starting SkyBridge in 2005, Scaramucci, known in the industry as “the Mooch,” co-founded Oscar Capital Management, which he sold to Neuberger Berman LLC in 2001. He had previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in private wealth management.