William Bollinger, one of the pioneers of London’s hedge fund industry, has come out of retirement to launch a new venture – in Singapore.
A protégé of the renowned investor Julian Robertson and a former donor to the Labour party, Mr Bollinger set up Egerton Capital, one of the UK’s first – and now most successful – hedge funds, with John Armitage in 1994. However, amid a tougher regulatory environment in Europe, higher taxes in the UK and a stale marketplace, Mr Bollinger has chosen to launch his new fund, Judico Capital, in Asia.
Singapore and Hong Kong have seen a surge in hedge fund start-ups in the past few years, together making a fast-growing Asian axis to rival London’s position as the $2tn hedge fund industry’s main centre.
As of last March, the two cities between them had about one-third the number of large hedge funds as London, up from one-sixth the year before.
While lower taxes have been an obvious attraction for many high net-worth hedge fund managers, Asia also appeals because of the greater opportunity to make money there, industry insiders say.
Mr Armitage continues to run Egerton, which still counts Mr Bollinger as a minority partner. It manages assets of about $5bn for a select group of investors, making it one of London’s largest hedge funds.
Although it lost just over 5 per cent last year, the firm has one of the best long-term records in the industry, returning, on average, 15 per cent each year since it was founded.
Egerton was a pioneer of equity long/short investing in Europe, and has been cited by several of London’s biggest hedge funds, including Lansdowne Partners and Odey Asset Management, as having been a major influence.
Mr Armitage and Mr Bollinger set up the firm after working together in senior positions at Morgan Grenfell.
Mr Bollinger began his career at Goldman Sachs, before working as a portfolio manager at Tiger Capital, Julian Robertson’s hedge fund. He also ran his own hedge fund in New York from 1987 to 1992.
Mr Bollinger’s new firm is, for now, keeping low key. Though listed on a database of investment advisory firms kept by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, it is not formally registered with the regulator since it has fewer than 30 clients.
Mr Bollinger did not respond to an email. A person at Judico’s office declined to comment.
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