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Ex-Julius Baer manager opens hedge fund

Ex-Julius Baer manager opens hedge fund

Sze King Chong, a former senior portfolio manager at Julius Baer has launched a hedge fund management company, Commonwealth Avenue Asset Management.

Based in Singapore, Commonwealth Avenue began managing money in the third quarter, delivering 6.16% in returns to-date, utilizing a global macro investment approach.

The firm currently manages $10 million through discretionary accounts, and has a registered fund management licence allowing it to serve up to 30 qualified investors and manage SG$250 million in assets.

In an exclusive interview with Citywire Asia, Chong said he was inspired to start his own company while working at Asia Genesis Asset Management where he served as portfolio manager for four years.

‘I have been fortunate to work for one of Asia’s best global macro hedge fund managers Chua Soon Hock at Asia Genesis, and saw up close how he achieved strong, steady returns through very agile and active management.

'That inspired me greatly, and so when the conditions aligned for me earlier this year, I didn’t need a second asking,’ he said.

Before venturing into Commonwealth Avenue, Chong was also senior portfolio manager at Julius Baer's discretionary portfolio management, Asia division since mid-2014. Prior to that, he spent five years as chief investment officer for HSBC's insurance business in Singapore and Malaysia.

Lately, hedge funds have come under fire globally for failing to outperform markets despite charging high fees. Chong, however, will not follow the traditional 2-20 fee model, he said, but did not disclose further payment details.

When asked about the future of active management, he said, ‘We have had concurrent bull markets in equities, credits, and the rates markets for almost eight years now. The G3 rates bull market appeared to be the first to succumb to a considerable correction in last November.

‘It remains to be seen if G3 rates will stay at current or higher levels for a prolonged period. If so, this creates pressure for the equities and credit bull over the next 18 months, and opportunities for active managers,’ he added.

 

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