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Alternative Market Briefing

Ex-Artradis founder launches new Asian hedge fund group

Thursday, March 31, 2011

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Stephen Diggle
Stephen Diggle, ex-managing partner and co-founder of Artradis, once one of Asia's biggest hedge fund groups with $4bn under management, is to launch a new firm, Vulpes Investment Management.

In an exclusive interview with Opalesque, Diggle outlined the new firm which will launch with two funds from Artradis, Artradis Russian Opportunities and Artradis Testudo, and a new fund, planned for 1st May. The new fund, The Lava Fund, will be similar to Artradis's Barracuda Fund, trading long volatility. Investors were redeemed out of Barracuda, as reported in Opalesque on March 22nd (Source) when the fund hit difficulties in 2009 and 2010 with losses of $ 700m. However, Diggle says this fund will be different. "Overall the fund worked for what investors asked us to do. Where we ran into problems was an unconstrained level of premium burn. This fund will have the same strategy but an extra tweak to enforce good risk discipline."

The enforcer of choice is new hire Bert Verdicchio, chief risk officer. "This is a new position for us and we will have a hard limit of how much theta we can burn per year" says Diggle. Fees on the new fund will be 1.5% and 20% with monthly liquidity with 90 days notice. Original Artradis investors are offered a welcome back with the high water mark from Artradis.

Vulpes will open its doors with $16......................

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