Westpac Unit to Buy Stake in Former Nomura Trader’s Hedge Fund

Westpac Banking Corp.’s investing unit will spend more than $50 million to buy a stake and provide initial investment capital in Hong Kong-based hedge fund Seyon Asset Management Ltd., which is led by former Nomura Holdings Inc. trader Pradeep Swamy.

The deal takes Ascalon Capital Managers Asian portfolio to four, and the total to seven across Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong, it said in an e-mailed statement. Swamy, who was previously chief investment officer of an in-house hedge fund within Nomura’s Asian equities business, will lead a 12-member team in Hong Kong, it said.

“There is a scarcity of opportunity for investors looking to allocate to institutional-grade multi-strategy firms in Asia,” Ascalon’s Chief Executive Officer Chuak Chan said in the statement. “Seyon’s senior investment team have a proven track record delivering attractive returns across market cycles, working at leading global institutions.”

Ascalon’s investment comes as Asia-based hedge funds saw $6.3 billion of capital outflows in the first six months of the year, the most in five years, with redemption pressure on money-losing mangers the heaviest, according to data provider eVestment. Investor disappointment with the hedge fund industry rose globally as managers haven’t been able to beat benchmarks amid market shocks.

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