Experienced hedge fund manager Michael Alsalem is making
good progress ahead of the launch of his new London-based
Ledbury Partners firm - a European-focused value-driven equity
and special situations investing strategy that aims to go live
in the second quarter.
Ledbury, which is backed by Jeffrey Tarrant and Ted Seides'
New York-headquartered smaller and emerging-manager investment
group Protégé Partners, looks like being a
significant new entrant into the European hedge fund space at a
time of fast-returning global investor interest in the
opportunity set across Europe's equity and corporate credit
Alsalem - who grew up in Europe, spending 14 years in France
- has been involved in the alternative investment world for the
past 12 years, working first at K Capital (which was founded by
former senior members of Seth Klarman's legendary Baupost value
investing group) and then at Kingdon Capital before joining JP
Morgan's Highbridge Capital operation in New York.
He moved to London in 2009 along with former Third Point man
Munib Islam to launch Highbridge's European equity strategy,
where he worked for a couple of years before joining
London-based event-driven manager Centaurus Capital - spending
some 18 months there before leaving in late 2012 to plan his
Alsalem is joined at Ledbury on the business management side
by founding partner and COO Chude Chidi-Ofong, an experienced
hedge fund operations specialist who has spent the past six
years as head of operations at Eton Park International.
Before his time with Eric Mindich and Erland Karlsson's $14
billion Eton Park group, Chidi-Ofong spent two years as a
founding partner and COO of start-up firm DE Capital - the
multi-strategy group led by Donald Ewer that span out from
Caxton, where he had been responsible for the business
management of its London operation.
The day-one investment team at Ledbury will comprise at
least two high-calibre senior analysts, with complementary
experience across public and private markets in both equities
and credit, under the overall portfolio management of
The strategy will have freedom to invest long and short
across the corporate capital structure, according to where the
team see the best risk-reward opportunities, but is likely to
focus on equities and the fund will only invest in publicly
Besides Europe itself, the team will also cover a wider
investment universe that also comprises all Europe-affiliated
securities - such as stocks quoted on Nasdaq and other
non-European exchanges, but whose business is predominantly
based in Europe - as well as cross-border corporate actions,
restructurings and events that have a European element.
The portfolio is expected to be fairly concentrated -
typically with around 15-20 positions on both the long and
short sides, in addition to put options, index products and
other hedging instruments. Investments will be based on deep
bottom-up fundamental research rather than macro or thematic
views, although the team will incorporate macro analysis into
their security selection.
Subject to FCA authorisation, Ledbury is aiming for a Q2
launch and the new operation looks likely to generate keen
interest at a time when Europe is firmly back on investors'
The firm is expected to target an early soft-close for the
fund, so as to focus the team's energies on investing
post-launch - and the partners are looking to attract
high-quality and long-term investors with similar investment
outlooks to their own from the outset.