Ivaldi Hires Morgan Stanley, Sansar Alumnus for Asia Investments

Ivaldi Capital LLP, a U.K.-based multistrategy hedge-fund manager, hired former Morgan Stanley strategist Rob Hart to start investing in Asian gaming, property and consumer stocks.

Hart began trading in Singapore last week, William Potts, Ivaldi’s London-based chief executive officer, said in an e-mail yesterday. Hart, who spent 12 years with Morgan Stanley, left the U.S. bank in 2008 to join Singapore-based Sansar Capital Management LLC, where he helped manage a portion of investments in property, gaming and large-cap stocks in Hong Kong and China, he said. He left Sansar in March before joining Ivaldi, he said.

Ivaldi, which was founded by former Citigroup Inc. prime brokers, hires managers such as Hart to run a series of strategies that feed into its two funds. Hart’s addition marks the third sub-strategy in Asia that Ivaldi is backing and ninth globally, Potts said, adding that successful managers are allowed to raise capital directly from other investors after at least two years.

Ivaldi is attracting managers at a time when larger institutions increasingly dominate the hedge-fund investor base, making it harder for small startups to raise money. Fifty-seven percent of the 167 Asian long-short equity hedge funds, which began trading with less than $50 million, still manage less than that amount after an average of 5.3 years in existence, according to a Citigroup Inc. survey released in December, citing data from Singapore-based Eurekahedge Pte.

Globally, an estimated 816 new hedge funds started in the first three quarters last year, 39 percent of the full-year number during the 2005 peak, according to Chicago-based data provider Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Long-Short Bets

Hart’s pool is expected to consist of 40 to 60 stocks in the industries he covers, including both long and short bets. Shorting involves selling borrowed stocks and buying them back when their prices fall. Hart, who was the head of regional property, gaming and conglomerate research at Morgan Stanley, will generate standalone long and short ideas as well as trade pairs of related stocks, Potts said.

Ivaldi has also hired Johan Karlsson, a former executive director of Morgan Stanley’s risk management group in Hong Kong, to head its own team in London, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday. James Oliver, once co-head of trading at GLG Partners LP in London, joined to set up and lead its central dealing team in the city, the statement showed.

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