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Ex-Citadel Manager Returns 18% With Atom Japan Fund

Bloomberg – Atsuko Tsuchiya, the Japanese hedge- fund adviser who left Merrill Lynch & Co. to found her own firm, led Atom Japan Equity Fund to an 18 percent return in 2008, beating rivals who suffered the worst year on record.

Tsuchiya, 36, achieved the gains in the fund’s first full year of trading, withstanding market losses and investor withdrawals that ravaged the $1.5 trillion hedge-fund industry, Bloomberg data shows. The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index fell a record 12 percent in 2008.

One of the nation’s few female hedge-fund advisers, Tsuchiya combined so-called event-driven and equity long-short strategies in the Japan-focused, 3 billion yen ($33 million) fund. Bets on companies that launched buyouts or bought affiliates to combat Japan’s first recession in seven years helped Atom dodge a 33 percent slide in assets at Japan-focused hedge funds last year.

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