Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

The kiwi has landed

April 28, 2009

City workers may dream of relocating out of London to somewhere a bit more laid back, particularly at rush hour, but one hedge fund manager is going the other way and is swapping the peace, quiet and good weather of New Zealand for the Big Smoke.

rtrrgk9Jerry Haworth, founder of Auckland-based hedge fund firm 36 South, is moving to London’s West End in a bid to be closer to clients and to attract more assets.

The driving factor?

Hedge fund investors’ sudden rush to do all the due diligence they can in the wake of the Bernard Madoff fraud.

“I wouldn’t have contemplated coming to London if Madoff hadn’t happened,” Haworth tells me.

“But Madoff came along, and investors are now saying, ‘now we have to come to New Zealand to do due diligence, and we have to come regularly.’”rtr1gmo8

Unfortunately regular due diligence trips to New Zealand are out for most investors (however nice that would be). So 36 South’s investment management team, which now runs $34 million after the industry’s recent wave of redemptions, despite returns of 55.83 percent from the main Kohinoor options fund over the past year, is moving to London.

The firm is targetting assets under management of more than $100 million in what has become an extremely tough environment for most firms — be they boutiques or larger managers — to raise money.

However, having previously been used to a more laid back pace of life, Haworth also sees other potential issues.

“The number one danger of moving is that I don’t have time to think,” he says.

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