Sam Tabar, former head of capital introductions for the Asia-Pacific region at the Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch & Co. unit, joined Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP as an attorney catering to hedge funds.
Tabar joined mid-October as a senior lawyer and is currently based in New York, he said in an e-mailed reply to questions from Bloomberg News. He will be working with the New York-based law firm’s existing clients as well as expanding relationships with Asia-based managers and investors, he said.
Schulte Roth & Zabel, which has almost 100 lawyers exclusively focused on representing alternative investment funds and their managers, has seen increased interest from clients in Asia on issues such as U.S. regulatory developments, Tabar said. Capital invested in Asian hedge funds surged to $103.8 billion, the highest level in five years, according to Chicago-based researcher Hedge Fund Research Inc.
“The Asia industry is undoubtedly maturing and growing,” Tabar, 41, said in the e-mail. “Regulatory scrutiny is increasing. Investors are more sophisticated and therefore more demanding. This leads hedge funds to want the highest quality legal advice.”
Asia excluding Japan hedge funds have outperformed the underlying markets by more than 5 percent this year through the end of October, according to Singapore-based data provider Eurekahedge Pte. Japan-focused funds have led the gains returning an average 23 percent in the period, while greater China-focused funds have returned 14 percent, it said.
Tabar, a graduate of the Columbia Law School and Oxford University, joined Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong in March 2011. Prior to that, he co-headed the capital raising team for PMA Investment Advisors Ltd., a Hong Kong-based hedge fund unit of Japan’s Sparx Group Co. A lawyer by training, Tabar started his career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York in 2001.
Schulte Roth, founded in 1969, has offices in New York, Washington D.C. and London, according to the firm’s website. It represents almost half of the 100 largest hedge funds and over 3,000 investment funds, Tabar said.
When asked about a plan to open an office in Asia, Tabar said “the firm has no current plans or timetable for opening an Asian office.”