Alken Asset Management is strengthening its investment team and is considering opening an office in Asia as it continues to expand into the region.
Following the appointment of Nicolas Descoqs to the investment team earlier this year, the boutique asset manager plans to make two or three more hires to bolster the research side.
Alken has also been active on the distribution side, using its connections in Japan and links with private banks to build new relationships with family offices, funds of hedge funds and wealth managers in Hong Kong.
Alisdair Bell (pictured), sales director for Alken, says: “Real interests started to gain momentum towards the end of 2013. We’ve seen a strong demand for Ucits strategies, and a strong demand for long-short as well as long only.”
Alken has currently soft-closed its funds in Asia. Bell says there are no immediate plans to domicile funds in Hong Kong in anticipation of mutual fund recognition between Hong Kong and China, which will put Hong Kong-domiciled funds on a fast-track to get approval for distribution in China, but adds that it may open an office in Asia in the future.
Bell says: “We’re very transparent, but the time difference is an obvious difficulty. It may be attractive for us at some point to open an office out there, but it’s not in our plans immediately.
“The next steps for us would be to, depending on our position with soft closings the funds, extend out to places like Malaysia and Indonesia. We are getting quite a bit of interest from areas like Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea.”
Alken Asset Management is an independent firm focused solely on European equities, with $12.5 billion (€9.3 billion) of assets under management.
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