* Ex-Perry Capital Asia head hard-closes hedge fund to new
* About one-tenth of capital invested by partners
* Defies tough capital raising environment
* Investors have pulled net $1.7 bln from Asia hedge funds
(Adds details, background)
By Nishant Kumar
HONG KONG, Aug 23 Alp Ercil, the former Asia
head of New York-based Perry Capital, closed his own
Asia-Pacific fund to fresh money this week after raising $940
million in the biggest hedge fund launch in the region for 2012,
a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Ercil's success contrasts with the struggle of hedge funds
to raise capital in the region, where investors have pulled a
net $1.7 billion from the $125 billion industry so far this
year, according to estimates by industry tracker Eurekahedge.
The Hong Kong-based fund manager leads other major Asia
hedge fund start-ups such as Tybourne Capital, launched by
former Asia head of hedge fund firm Lone Pine Capital Eashwar
Krishnan, and Voltex, a hedge fund set up by former Nomura
Holdings Inc trader Jean-Noel Payer.
Ercil launched his investment firm Asia Research & Capital
Management Limited earlier this year with 18 people, including
14 from Perry Capital, which decided to shut its operations in
the region in October last year to focus on the U.S. and
The private-equity style hedge fund firm, which focuses on
distressed investment opportunities in credit and equities in
the Asia-Pacific region, received $440 million in the first
round of capital raising that ended on April 30.
Ercil, who spent more than 10 years at Perry Capital, raised
an additional $500 million since then, getting close to his
target of $1 billion, and told clients this week that the fund
was no longer open to investments, the source said.
Bill Wong, the hedge fund's chief operating officer,
declined to comment.
About 10 percent of the assets have come from its own
partners with the rest from a concentrated group of 15 to 20
investors, the source said.
Unlike a typical hedge fund that raises capital and attempts
to deploy it from the very first day, Ercil's fund would draw
the capital down as and when it sees an investment opportunity,
similar to private equity funds.
The three-year fund with provisions for extension will
charge a management fee but performance fees will only be earned
when investment gains are realised. This is a unique fee
structure in the hedge fund world that aligns the fund manager's
interests with those of investors.
More than 40 hedge funds have shut down this year in Asia as
investors pull out of underperformers after a tough 2011, when
regional funds measured by the Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund
Index lost 8.2 percent. They are up just 1.3 percent this year.
Still, the pipeline of start-ups is improving in Asia with
at least half a dozen former traders and fund managers at banks
and global hedge funds aiming to start their own ventures this
Some are also attracting capital as investors look to
re-allocate funds to experienced traders leaving proprietary
desks in the wake of the "Volcker Rule", which will limit the
extent to which banks can make bets with their own capital.
New Asian hedge funds raised $2 billion in the first half of
the year with an average launch size of about $63 million, a
survey released last week by industry tracker AsiaHedge showed.
(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Edmund Klamann)