March 14 (Bloomberg) -- A Japan-focused multistrategy hedge fund run by three former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing directors returned 38 percent in its first two months, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The Golvis Asia Opportunities Fund, which started trading on Jan. 6 with money from its founding partners and employees, began accepting capital from outside investors in February, they added, declining to be identified because the information is private. Ryan Collins, head of business development at Singapore-based Golvis Investment Pte, declined to comment.
The fund, run by a team of 12 employees led by Chief Investment Officer Koji Gotoda, outperformed the 6.7 percent retreat by the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average between Jan. 6 and Feb. 28. Japan-focused hedge funds lost an average 1.2 percent in the first two months, according to preliminary data from Eurekahedge Pte, amid a mixed global economic outlook and as the yen strengthened.
“Volatility comes with the major financial and economic questions on Japan and the team at Golvis has shown they are able to navigate well in the last two months,” said Will Tan, a Singapore-based recruiter with Principle Partners Pte.
Golvis, also co-founded by senior fund manager Takayuki Kasama and Chief Operating Officer Taiichi Hoshino, invests in all asset classes and was initially focused on Japan, two people with knowledge of the matter said in August.
The Golvis fund gained 27 percent in February, mostly from picking undervalued and overpriced stocks based on company fundamentals, the people said without elaborating. The relative-value strategy, which exploits valuation gaps of related securities, drove the fund’s 8.5 percent return in January, allowing it to profit from market swings, they added.
Japan-focused hedge funds returned 27 percent last year, the most since records began in 2000, benefiting from government stimulus that led to a weaker yen and a stock market rally, according to Singapore-based researcher Eurekahedge. The Japanese currency slid 18 percent against the dollar last year, helping drive a 57 percent rally in the Nikkei by making the country’s exports more competitive.
Hedge-fund investors ranked Japan the second-most attractive region in the year ahead, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG survey released earlier this week. Developed Europe ranked at the top, it showed. About 34 percent of the investors that control $1.2 trillion of hedge-fund assets between them in the Credit Suisse survey said they will probably increase allocations to Japan in the year ahead, with 1 percent saying they would reduce such assets.
Gotoda most recently led Asia convertible bond trading at Goldman Sachs. Kasama was a co-head of Japan credit trading at the New York-based bank, people with knowledge of the matter said in August. Hoshino was a Tokyo-based Goldman Sachs managing director focused on fund structuring and marketing, two people with knowledge of the matter said in January.
All of Golvis’s other employees worked closely with Gotoda and Kasama at Goldman Sachs, they added at the time.
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