Bobby Jain’s Hedge Fund to Hire 30 in Asia by Trading Start

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According to a source familiar with the matter, Bobby Jain’s new hedge fund firm is expected to have over 30 employees in Asia when it begins trading in July. The firm will be adopting a management model that gives local leaders control over important functions such as hiring and risk management. The hires will be evenly distributed between Singapore and Hong Kong, with more than 10 portfolio managers being included. Jain Global LLC has already secured a permanent office space in Singapore’s Central Business District, which can accommodate 40 employees, and is set to move there in September. The firm also plans to secure a long-term lease for a similarly-sized office in Hong Kong this month. The spokesperson for the New York-based firm declined to provide any comment on the matter.
Jain Global, led by former Millennium Management co-chief investment officer, is planning to launch one of the largest hedge funds globally in recent years, with a target of raising $5 billion. The firm’s entry into the Asian market will escalate the competition among multi-strategy, multi-manager firms who are currently battling for top talent.

Jain Global has already made key hires for portfolio manager positions. Alan Ng, a seasoned investor with expertise in Japan-focused equity arbitrage, event-driven, and special situations, has joined the firm. Ng has previously worked for Perry Capital, Asia Research & Capital Management Ltd., and Segantii Capital Management Ltd. Zhang Yang, formerly of Squarepoint Capital, will also be joining as a systematic trading portfolio manager in Singapore. Additionally, Amir Ravan, an alumnus of BlueCrest Capital Management, has been appointed as a commodities portfolio manager with a focus on precious metals, according to Bloomberg.
According to a source, Asia will have its own local leadership and will be operated as a separate business within Jain Global. The firm’s other six businesses focus on different investment strategies such as fundamental stock picking, equity arbitrage, commodities, rates and macro, credit, and systematic trading. Jain Global plans to implement all six strategies in the Asian market.

The person further revealed that Sam Kellie-Smith, who serves as the Asia-Pacific chief executive and chief investment officer, will oversee and provide guidance to all portfolio managers in the region. Kellie-Smith has extensive experience in management roles at Morgan Stanley, where he worked since 1997. His previous positions include chairing the global markets division, managing global equities trading, and overseeing fixed-income and commodities business. He also has prior experience in the Asian market, having led Asia equities trading from Hong Kong earlier in his career.
Millennium and Citadel, two global firms, are competing with regional peers such as Polymer Capital Management and Dymon Asia Capital for a limited pool of Asia hedge fund talent. The competition is further intensified by the upcoming entry of Arrowpoint Investment Partners, an Asia-focused multi-strategy, multi-manager hedge fund led by Jonathan Xiong, a former regional co-CEO of Millennium, with backing from Blackstone Inc.

In contrast to global peers who typically expand to Asia after operating elsewhere for years, Jain Global is taking a different approach. Rather than treating Asia as a secondary market, Jain Global has established its Asia operation as a core business from the beginning. This departure from the conventional “bolt-on” approach is uncommon, as firms usually have strategy heads located elsewhere who retain control over hiring and risk, except for equities, the dominant business in the region.
Other senior regional executives include:

In Asia, the markets are known for their relatively high volatility, which means that less capital is required to achieve a similar risk-adjusted return compared to the United States. Additionally, the region is more fragmented and specialized, with different regulatory frameworks and market dynamics, necessitating a larger number of portfolio managers.

Within the six investment strategies, the firm identifies commodities as a key focus area for Asia. According to the source, precious and base metals, as well as power and gas trading, offer some of the most compelling opportunities. The region continues to be a significant consumer of these commodities, and with global inflation and resource constraints on the rise, this sector is expected to remain in the spotlight.

In Japan, regulatory changes aimed at improving governance, government policies to stimulate economic growth, and corporate reforms are creating expanding opportunities, as highlighted by the source.
Jain Global will also focus on equity arbitrage strategies, taking advantage of the increased volatility in share prices and higher interest rates that have led to large convertible bond offerings from companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. Additionally, the unique characteristics of the region’s retail investors make options trading attractive, and there are signs of a revival in mergers and acquisitions activity.

In recent years, investors have been drawn to multi-strategy, multi-manager hedge funds, rather than allocating capital separately to different funds. According to a September report from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s prime brokerage team, the combined assets of 55 of these “pod shops” nearly tripled over the six-year period ending in 2023.