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
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.