Haye Chan, the former senior portfolio manager and head of research at SAFE Investment Company, the investment arm for China’s $3.5 trillion foreign exchange reserves, is launching his own hedge fund vehicle later this year.
Chan, a veteran investor in distressed investments, fixed income and equities who was senior portfolio manager of the flagship portfolio at SAFE Investment, resigned from his post in June this year.
His new firm, Agamemnon Capital, is now preparing to launch a global event-driven special situations fund that will deploy a strategy largely similar to that which Chan pursued at the Hong Kong-based arm of the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, sources told AsiaHedge.
SAFE Investment is a private company that manages China’s huge foreign exchange reserves for its parent, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange – which itself regulates foreign exchange-related activities in the mainland.
It invests in a variety of instruments including foreign and domestic equities and fixed income securities and its key objectives include delivering returns on its investments, diversifying holdings and reducing China’s exposure to fluctuations in the value of the US dollar.
Chan has named his firm after HMS Agamemnon, the 64-gun ship captained by Lord Nelson for the British Royal Navy. It was Nelson’s favorite among all the ships he commanded and saw service in the American Revolutionary, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The ship itself was named after Agamemnon, the mythological ancient Greek king who commanded the Greeks during the Trojan War.
While his new firm has yet to appoint key service providers, including prime brokers, Chan’s initiative is already generating a significant buzz among hedge fund allocators. Regional investors describe the planned vehicle as one of the most hotly-anticipated hedge fund launches in the region this year.
Before joining SAFE in May 2008, Chan honed his investment skills at Kamunting Street Capital – the Connecticut-based credit-focused hedge fund founded in 2004 by Allan Teh, a former director at Citigroup’s Tribeca Global Investments hedge fund unit.
At the firm, he was mostly focused on distressed investments and credit – operating in all types of instruments across the capital structure including convertible bonds. In 2005-2006, however, he directed his attention to Asian equities in an opportunistic move sparked by the massive equity bull run that was then sweeping equity markets across the region.
He left Kamunting Street briefly in early 2007 to join Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management and to help the group establish an Asia-focused fund in Hong Kong.
Chan, who is a computer science graduate from Cornell University and with a master’s degree in operation research to boot, is understood to have done well at Altman’s group despite his brief stint there. He nonetheless decided a few months later to quit the firm and return to Kamunting Street, where he stayed until 2008 before his move to SAFE.