Event-Driven Hedge Fund Manager Gruss Shutting Hong Kong Office

  • Firm received Hong Kong asset-management license in 2008
  • Gruss managed $3.2 billion in regulatory assets as of December

Gruss Capital Management, an event-driven hedge fund manager based in New York, is shutting its more than seven-year-old Hong Kong office.

Gruss filed a notification to Hong Kong’s securities regulator to cease its asset-management activities in the city from Jan. 31 and will no longer have such staff in the office, according to a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated Feb. 20. The firm had almost $3.2 billion of regulatory assets, which may include leverage, as of December, according to the filing.

The firm expects to liquidate the Hong Kong entity and shut the physical office in the second quarter, it added, without giving a reason for the closure. Sean Dany, Gruss’s New York-based chief investment officer, and Howard Guberman, its chief operating officer, didn’t reply to e-mails seeking comments. Stephen Woo, who has led the Hong Kong office, didn’t respond to a text message and couldn’t be reached by phone.

Global hedge funds have had a history of paring back satellite offices during volatile markets or trouble at home. Pine River Capital Management in November shuttered an Asia-focused hedge fund that it had opened in 2004, after it failed to attract enough assets to justify keeping it going. Grupo BTG Pactual’s hedge-fund unit is closing its Hong Kong office after being hit by redemptions since the arrest and release of the investment bank’s billionaire founder Andre Esteves.

Event-driven hedge funds globally retreated 1.7 percent in 2015 for the biggest annual loss since 2011, and shed another 3.5 percent in January in the worst start to the year since the collection of data began in 2000, according to Singapore-based Eurekahedge Pte.

"The firm will continue to monitor investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region from its New York and London offices," Gruss’s SEC filing said.

Gruss was licensed to conduct asset-management activities in Hong Kong from October 2008, according to information posted on the website of the city’s Securities and Futures Commission. The hedge-fund manager invests in stocks, bonds, loans and derivatives affected by corporate actions such as reorganizations, liquidations and mergers, regulatory or legal shifts, as well as market dislocations. It also invests in distressed securities, according to the filing.

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