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Alternative Market Briefing

South Africa's hedge fund landscape driven by institutional demand

Thursday, December 06, 2012

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St John Bungey
Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

South Africa has long been considered one of the less risky, more defensive emerging market plays for investors. The country offers a diverse economy, and relatively strong exports that are not solely reliant on a specific natural resource. These themes extend into its growing hedge fund industry, which saw early interest from institutions through the fund of funds structure. Taken together, the needs of institutions and fund of funds have institutionalized this market early, making new entrants organically less risky and lower in volatility if they wish to respond to the expectations of investors in the country.

Participants at our recent Opalesque South Africa Roundtable discussed what this means for their funds and also the future of the hedge fund industry in South Africa. "Everybody wants 5% or 10% on a predictable basis rather than 30% or 40% in a good year and then lose 15% in a bad year," says St John Bungey, Chief Investment Officer, Blue Ink Investments. He notes that while more diversification and indeed, more risk might be desirable for other industry professionals in the country, funds have instead opted for the uniformity demanded by institutional expectations.

Bungey argues for a return to co-investment as a means of easing diversity back into the marketplace. Lee Dalley of Skybound Capital, noted that more inve......................

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