Daniel Liptak, formerly head of alternatives research at Zenith Investment Partners, moved to head up ZG Advisors earlier this year, a new specialist institutional consulting firm that arises out of a joint venture with Gottex Fund Management. Zenith founder David Smythe is a non-executive director with the new company.
In an interview with Opalesque, Melbourne-based Liptak said: "ZGA clients will have access to research and due diligence through Gottex for the global perspective, but also my domestic hedge fund experience."
Australia suffers from what Liptak describes as the 'tyranny of distance' in the alternatives world which means that there is a noticeable lack of global coverage with only a few people visiting local funds and local investors not investing locally but often travelling to New York or London to invest.
Liptak was looking for a global partner to give him optimum ability to provide investment solutions to clients. These will come from Australian institutions and family offices. "There are plenty of savings pools here large enough for our business" he says.
With the strength of the joint venture, Liptak has also been able to remodel portfolios. "We have been able to access moving from directional credit to relative value credit through managers that I have found or Gottex has on their recommended list" he says. "We have also been able to access hard closed funds in Asia - we are adding value for clients and it's been a nice experience."
The plan is to add more staff and to build the business over the next 18 months. "We have a strong institutional grade infrastructure with top down capability" Liptak says, as he now sets out marketing and talking with potential clients. Larger investors only need apply. Liptak says: "$50m is the lower end investment into hedge funds we can look at, anything larger, then the economics become positive to the investor. The scale of what they can get with us is enormous to try to replicate."
This article was published in Opalesque's Asia Pacific Intelligence our monthly research update on alternative investments in the Asia-Pacific region.