Highbridge Said to Hire BlueCrest's Oh as Asian Equities Manager

  • Oh left BlueCrest and is expected to start new job late April
  • He also worked for Marshall Wace, Citadel and Owl Creek

Highbridge Capital Management, whose hedge-fund business oversees about $6 billion globally, hired Karyo Oh as an equities fund manager in Asia as investments in the region have expanded, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Oh is expected to start at Highbridge in Hong Kong at the end of this month to manage Asian equity long-short investments focused on industrial companies, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information hasn’t yet been made public. He previously worked at BlueCrest Capital Management, where he was a fund manager on its Asia equities team in Hong Kong.

Mike Geller, a spokesman for Highbridge at Edelman Public Relations in New York, declined to comment via e-mail.

Highbridge is hiring as the amount of equity capital it invests in the region has risen to just under $800 million under Arjun Menon, said the person. The New York-headquartered firm is joining global peers such as Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Hutchin Hill Capital and Balyasny Asset Management to add or replenish talent in the region in recent months, seeing opportunities even as the wider industry struggles to make money amid global market turbulence, low oil prices and China’s economic slowdown.

BlueCrest has seen a number of staff departures since December, when it announced it would return client money to focus on managing the fortunes of billionaire founder Michael Platt and his partners.

Asia Returns

Menon, 34, has generated an annualized after-fee return of nearly 8.3 percent through February in his five years as head of the regional investment team, said the person. The Highbridge team, which seeks stable returns immune to the general direction of markets, hasn’t had a single calendar-year loss under him and has made about 1 percent this year through March, said the person.

The Eurekahedge Asia Relative-Value Hedge Fund Index returned an annualized 4.7 percent in the five years to February and lost 4.3 percent in the first two months of this year, according to the latest data available.

Asia-focused hedge funds of all strategies have retreated 4.9 percent this year in the worst first quarter since 2008, according to Singapore-based Eurekahedge Pte. The last time the industry collectively lost money in a year was in 2011, when hedge funds declined an average of 7.3 percent amid the European debt crisis.

The money invested by Menon’s team in the region includes capital from Highbridge’s flagship global multistrategy pool and its Pan Asia Multistrategy Fund. It uses the equity long-short, convertible bond and capital-structure arbitrage strategies and also trades derivatives and credit securities in Asia.

Oh joined BlueCrest in Hong Kong about a year ago. Before that, he worked for London-based asset manager Marshall Wace, billionaire-investor Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel and Owl Creek Asset Management, according to his LinkedIn profile and regulatory records.

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