From the Opalesque team:
For hedge funds, Japan's institutional investors are a promising asset-raising target looming on the horizon. US-based marketing firm FletcherBennet recently expressed this opinion with the hire of Somer Hatano, who will focus solely on relations with Japan institutions for the firm's hedge fund roster. FletcherBennet's management is not alone in this opinion, Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzmann recently noted during the firm's year-end reporting call that Japan investors were focused mainly on hedge fund investing right now.
In the most recent Opalesque Roundtable (Japan), we learned from the managers based in that country that it is indeed the case that hedge funds will find opportunities with this investor base. Some of the largest institutional investors in Japan are in the position where they have a real need to chase higher performance, and are expected to do so by increasing their market exposures through alternatives vehicles, including hedge funds.
"Quite simply, Japanese pension funds will not produce enough returns to meet their future liabilities with their current asset mix. This will indicate that they will have to make greater allocations to alternatives in the near future," said Rory Kennedy, COO for......................
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