Asia Drains Hedge Fund Brains

Asia remains a bright spot for the industry as firms retrench in Europe and the U.S.

So the hedge fund that used to employ you in London or New York closed? Consider moving to Singapore or Hong Kong, where taxes are low, wealth is growing and money management can still afford to hire the best talent.

Graticule Asset Management, BFAM Partners and Nine Masts Capital are among Asian hedge-fund firms hiring senior managers after boosting assets in an industry that’s suffered globally from investor outflows, Bloomberg News reports. Graticule brought in Jonathan Candy as chief executive officer after his former home, BlueCrest Capital Management, announced in December that it was returning all $8 billion of client money to focus on managing the fortune of its partners and employees, including billionaire Michael Platt. BlueCrest cited declining fees and rising costs for the decision. 

That's become a common tale. Being in the hedge-fund industry has been a tough gig lately. Fund closures in Europe and the U.S. have accelerated and are running near their 2014 high, according to industry tracker Eurekahedge.

The Bottom Keeps Dropping

The number of new hedge funds started in Europe and the U.S. has slowed

Source: Eurekahedge

Hedge funds in Asia haven't had such a hard time. For a start, they're making more money. Have a look at the returns of the industry globally versus the smaller Eastern universe:

Bouncing But Still Rising

It's been mostly downhill for global hedge funds since mid-2015 while Asian firms have rocked but kept gaining

Sources: Bloomberg, Hedge Fund Research

* Indexes equalized for comparability.

Wealth is also rising faster in Asia. On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings said that Asia's mutual fund market grew to $4.2 trillion at the end of last year from $2.3 trillion in 2011. The region's share of global industry assets has increased to 11 percent from 9 percent. Data for hedge funds, the loosely regulated investment pools that generally are open only to high-net-worth individuals or institutions, are harder to come by but it's fair to assume that growth remains strong.

According to the annual wealth report released by Royal Bank of Canada and Capgemini in September, there were 4.7 million high-net-worth individuals in Asia holding almost $16 trillion in 2014. India and China were respectively the number one and two fastest-growing pools of money. The amount held by rich people in the two most populous nations increased 12.4 percent annually between 2006 and 2014, according to the report. 

So, fret not for those hedge-fund jobs lost in London and New York. Go East, where the wealth is bountiful and hiring continues. Oh, and did we mention taxes?

    This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Christopher Langner in Singapore at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Matthew Brooker at

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE