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Asia Pacific Intelligence

Ex-sovereign wealth manager offers conservative fixed income hedge fund with Asian twist

Monday, October 08, 2012

Guan Ong, Principal of Singapore based Blue Rice Investment Management can bear witness to the challenges of being a relatively new and emerging manager of an Asian hedge fund. He founded BRIM in December 2009. It is a long/short fixed income fund, with $60m under management, investing in Asian bonds, denominated in dollars, a liquid market that has some $300bn in assets.

As Ong explained in his Opalesque TV interview in June, he has been in investment for many years, starting with the Prudential, working in Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong and then establishing and building the Korean sovereign wealth fund, the Korea Investment Corp, in 2006. As the first chief investment officer, Ong started from scratch with a mandate to build the sovereign wealth fund which launched with $20bn under management and now has $50bn. "We started from a risk based perspective using passive fixed income" he explains in an interview with Asia Pacific Intelligence. "We then added more active risk and built in equity, then hedge funds."

As a fixed income fund, it has return targets of high single digit returns. The portfolio is biased towards long bonds at the moment with shorts acting as insurance. "We are concerned about corporate profits - where is global growth coming from?" Ong says. "There is such a flow of liquidity that keeps pushing prices higher."

Ong believes that his fund will best suit a conservative investor who wants to go for a lower risk, lower volatility investment.

This article was published in Opalesque's Asia Pacific Intelligence our monthly research update on alternative investments in the Asia-Pacific region.
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