Africa Roundtable Hedge Fund Update

West Palm Beach ( – The Opalesque South Africa Roundtable was held November 10th 2008 in their Cape Town Office. There, the participants also discussed the particularities of investing in Africa (ex-South Africa).

South Africa’s equity and fixed income markets displayed exemplary robustness during 2008. Many global allocators may not be aware that the South African financial market infrastructure matches or exceeds its "first world" counterparts in many respects.

The equity and fixed income markets demonstrated exemplary robustness throughout the turbulences of 2008: no short-selling ban, no trading halt and no failed trades. Offshore investors can benefit from efficient and proven ways to get pure South African alpha without taking currency risk.

During the Roundtable, portfolio managers explained new ways to construct hedges, and informed on new and upcoming products. How global investors can benefit from the "Africa story", which is probably the largest opportunity set in the new investment paradigm called "frontier investing"? How do you deal with restricted liquidity, and is Africa really uncorrelated?

The following experts participated in the Opalesque South Africa Roundtable: James Gubb, Founding Partner of Clear Horizon Capital St. John Bungey, Partner, Praesidium Capital Management James Addo, Portfolio Manager, Finch Asset Management Simone Lowe, Portfolio Manager, Thames River Capital Andy Pfaff, Founding Partner of Trendline Funds Ian Hamilton, Founder, IDS Group Ryan Proudfoot, Co-Head RMB Prime Broking Warren Chapman, Head of Peregrine Prime Broking Kevin Ewer, Portfolio Manager, Blue Ink Investments.

South African hedge fund managers and hedge fund investors share surprising insights. For example, – South African single strategy hedge funds offer transparency "far superior to anything anywhere else", according to investors – South African hedge funds suffered their first – and only until that point – net redemptions in October 2008, but only 2.5% of total assets – South Africa is the first country in the world that actually distinguishes between normal fund managers and hedge fund managers, with higher criteria required for hedge fund managers.


Alex Akesson

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