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Ex-Morgan Stanley manager launches Japanese equity hedge fund

(Reuters) – A former fund manager at Morgan Stanley Asset and Investment Management launched a Japanese equity long-short hedge fund on Monday, betting on interest from overseas investors after a recent surge in Tokyo stocks.

Tsukasa Shimoda, the founder and president of Galleyla Investment, said his long-short fund – the UMJ Galleyla Fund – has the capacity to take in up to 20 billion yen ($213 million). The fund will slowly close subscription when its asset size approaches capacity.

The fund, which has already received start-up capital from two foreign investors, is expected to reach capacity within one to two years, he said.

Shimoda said his fund has been gaining attention from foreign investors after expectations for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflationary fiscal and monetary policies helped boost Tokyo shares by more than 40 percent since November.

It was a rare launch in Japan in the past year, after the $1.3 billion-loss cover-up scandal of Tokyo-based asset manager AIJ Investment in early 2012 rocked the fund industry, forcing many domestic pension funds to review their portfolios in hedge funds.

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