Goldman Sachs Alumni Said to Open Japan Hedge Fund by March

Jan 20, 2014 10:48 pm ET

(Updates with comment from prime broker in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Golvis Investment Pte, founded by three former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing directors, plans to open its Japan-focused multistrategy hedge fund to investors this quarter, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Golvis Asia Opportunities Fund returned almost 2 percent in the first two weeks of January, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. It started trading early this month with money from the Singapore-based company’s founding partners and employees. Ryan Collins, Golvis’s head of business development, declined to comment on the fund as it is private.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan have introduced unprecedented stimulus to end 15 years of deflation, weakening the yen and boosting the earnings outlook of the country’s exporters. Japanese hedge funds returned 28 percent last year, outperforming peers focused on other regions, according to Singapore-based data provider Eurekahedge Pte.

“The easy yen trade is over,” said Matt Pecot, Hong Kong- based Asia-Pacific head of prime services at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Investors may shift allocations to managers with deeper history of long, short fundamental stock-picking in the Japan market.”

Goldman Experience

Golvis, led by Chief Investment Officer Koji Gotoda, senior fund manager Takayuki Kasama and Chief Operating Officer Taiichi Hoshino, employs 12 people, said the people. They include a five-member team in Tokyo who report to Gotoda and Kasama and help with company fundamental research, they said.

Gotoda most recently led Asia convertible bond trading at Goldman Sachs before leaving in July. Kasama, a former co-head of Japan credit trading, left the New York-based bank in June, people with knowledge of the matter said in August. Hoshino, the third founding partner, was a Tokyo-based Goldman Sachs managing director focused on fund structuring and marketing, said the people.

All of Golvis’s other employees worked at Goldman Sachs closely with Gotoda and Kasama, they added.

Golvis’s fund invests in all asset classes and is initially focused on Japan, the people said in August. Japan-focused hedge funds have historically traded stocks, making a company staffed by a large team of former Goldman Sachs employees and capable of investing in multiple asset classes a rarity, one of the people said then.

The yen weakened 18 percent against the dollar last year, bolstering the international competitiveness of the country’s exporters. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average surged 57 percent in 2013, the biggest rally of the benchmark index in 41 years.

The stock gauge has slid 4 percent this year through yesterday after the Japanese currency strengthened about 1 percent against the U.S. dollar.

--With assistance from Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo. Editors: Andreea Papuc, Tomoko Yamazaki