A Win-Win For Everybody

For Ashvin Murthy, AVM Global Opportunity Fund is all about creating win-win partnerships. “AVM are the initials of the names of my wife and I,” he says. (…)

Navigating A Sea Trading Expedition Across Asia

If he had a choice, James Luong would not do anything else but start his own hedge fund. At Thétis Macro Opportunities, James and his team have deep understanding about the markets that they trade in. (…)

Sticking to the Numbers with Ddraig Equity Fund

Ddraig Equity Fund is designed to outperform the MSCI World Net Total Return Index. Named after the red Welsh dragon, the fund enhances returns from its core equity investments by employing a market-neutral relative value strategy, receiving income from a covered-call option strategy against the core equity holdings, and invests in protection hedging against steep market declines. (…)

Young Millennials Taking the Financial World by Storm: Heritage Global Capital Fund

By a fortunate stroke of serendipity, two young lads met at a personal development course in 2009. Little did they expect that both would run an investment strategy together for a very long time. Pursuing global equities with asymmetrical risk reward characteristics, Heritage Global Capital Fund is an offshoot of what Tay Jun Hao and Xavier See had been doing for their own family office. (…)

Swiss-Asia Cap Intro Interview Series #7 – AlgoTrend

 Swiss-Asia Cap Intro Interview Series – AlgoTrend

September 21, 2016


Written by Swiss-Asia


Launched in October 2015, AlgoTrend is an open-end fund that generates high returns in Asian listed securities with algorithm trading. Julien Moisson and Julien Guerrand tells us more.


  1. Why did you start AlgoTrend?

We had previously founded our own market making hedge fund, and found that the hedge fund world suits us better than banking. We are entrepreneurs, and Swiss-Asia’s platform allows us to focus better on the trading.


  1. What is the investment strategy?

We are an intraday only, fully automated strategy on Asian listed futures. We capture intraday market movements with in-depth, momentum indicators from the volatility curve. With over 15 years’ experience in options market making, we predict these movements by looking at the implied volatility’s curve.


  1. How do you keep the momentum going in today’s volatile market?

Our strategies are intraday and only correlated to volatility. This lets us perform better under volatile market conditions. When we started, we were only trading KOSPI Futures. Now, we have expanded to include HSI, HSCEI and Nikkei. We plan to add more markets, as diversification allows us to capture more market movements on a daily basis.


  1. What is your trading philosophy?

We trade with a scientific, mathematical approach by looking at extremely liquid markets with a complete option structure. With intraday, we always trade the ratio return / max drawdown. Even under low volatility market conditions, we are able to capture small market movements, which differentiates us from a long volatility fund.


  1. For aspiring entrepreneurs, what should they do when they start their own fund?

Think well about the cost structure. For small hedge funds, it is important to start at a relatively low cost. Swiss-Asia makes this possible.


  1. If you were not a fund manager, what would you be?

A professional poker player. I believe hedge fund traders and poker players have to be rational, consistent and keep human emotion to a minimum.

For more information on the featured funds, please visit https://www.swissasia-group.com/cap-intro/. Registration closes on 1 October 2016.


25th August 2016

Written by Steve Knabl
3.5 minutes

A few times a year, I conduct a lecture on Hedge Funds and its operations in one of the universities in Singapore. At the end of my lecture, I get all sorts of great questions. But one that is always there, and that I always seem to not answer precisely is this – how do we enter the world of hedge funds?

The hedge fund industry is a relatively closed one. Only a select few succeed and manage to build a real long term career out of it. But a well-managed start may help you get in for success. Here are SIX basic pointers to put all the chances on your side.

1. Learn the jargon! Read as much as you can about how hedge funds operate and where your professional aspirations may fit in. Read the top books on the subject. Read online media reports and relevant, up to date articles. Get to know the names of the large hedge funds in your region. Learn the jargon. Basically, you should try to make this your daily interest.

2. Where do I fit in? Find an entry point for your level of knowledge, experience and aspirations. Most of all, be realistic. You will need to learn a lot on the job. Gaining employment is a competitive process in this industry. You will typically need to show commitment and loyalty to get in. Do not expect to job hop to get higher up the ranks. Job hoppers are seen as a deterrent in our industry, a dangerous breed that can potentially disclose trade secrets. We like committed, hardworking people who grow and gain experience in the same firm.

3. Make that internship count! Complete one or more internships in the industry. It does not matter where you are located in the firm, many hedge fund managers are looking for help in operations, middle office, trading, investor relations and research. Be ready to work for free though. The main point of an internship is to get in, work and learn. Make it count. Make that internship as long as you can. Six to 12 months is ideal. With some luck, you may be offered a permanent spot.

4. What is your edge? Develop a unique value proposition to potential employers. Reflect on your recent knowledge, natural abilities, past work experience, internships and education. Decide how you could effectively package them when you apply for jobs. Be relevant. Do not be generic. You need to come up with specific skills and abilities that allow you to stand out from the rest. Hedge fund managers are a smart bunch. Do not oversell yourself as they will smell you out in the first five minutes of the interview.

5. Your network is your net worth! Networking is the fine art of building alliances, connecting people and mentoring others. It needs to be part of your daily life, not just in business. Our Business Development Manager, Omar Taheri, wrote a great piece on networking. It reflects the breadth of daily encounters and how they can affect your business life: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/your-network-networth-omar-taheri?trk=mp-reader-card. To immerse yourself in the “Hedgies” world, networking is clearly the best way to meet industry professionals. Fundies by Swiss-Asia (https://www.swissasia-group.com/events/), Hedge Funds Club (http://www.hedgefundsclub.com/) and Springboard Talent Management (http://springboardtm.com.sg/) are a few good events to attend. So get out there and meet your peers. Who knows, you might even meet a mentor at one of these events.

6. Stay relevant with education. As markets evolve, you need to keep up with the changing times. Getting relevant industry knowledge through education is a great way to do so. These days, skills that stand out in the hedge fund industry include public relations, networking, data analysis, coding, risk management and of course, portfolio construction. There are a number of hedge fund programmes available in the market, but not many offer direct access to industry experts. Choose wisely and you could get your foot into the right door.

I hope these tips help advance your hedge fund career.

To do our part as a Hedge Fund incubation platform, we had the great opportunity to team up with Inflection Point Intelligence. Previously known as the Henley Business School’s Executive Hedge Fund Programme, this six-month learning journey offers a very down to earth and applicable curriculum. All tutors are renowned industry professionals and practitioners who have come together to generously share their experiences.

More about the Inflection Point Executive Hedge Fund Programme. Due to popular demand in Hong Kong, the programme debuts in Singapore this October 2016. Held over six months, it is a monthly weekend educational course for 25 participants. Delivered by over 30 leading industry professionals at the new Reuters offices every Saturday, the programme offers participants a holistic, real-practice overview of hedge funds. Evening networking events are also organized for peers and executives to forge links with participants and practitioners.

“Nowhere in Asia offers anything close to this program. Our tutors offer invaluable real-world insights, and cutting edge industry practices.
Participants will also have the added bonus of unparalleled networking opportunities with our mentors, industry partners and alumni.”  

Steve Bernstein, MD at Hudson Advisors Japan.

To ensure a personalised experience and top notch education standards, admission is limited to the 25 qualified applicants per intake. Please visit the Henley website for further information and online registration: http://henley.asia/executive-education/executive-hedge-fund-program/.

Contact us now before the programme gets over-subscribed.


Steve Knabl

COO & Managing Partner

Swiss-Asia Financial Services Pte Ltd



Written by Steve Knabl

10 traits that make a Great External Wealth Manager

Finding a good External Wealth Manager is crucial for clients who are savvier now than in past years. Looking to grow their portfolio of assets, clients today have high expectations. They want their wealth manager’s skill sets to be exceptional, as well as their trustworthiness to be beyond reproach.

Here are 10 traits essential to making a great External Wealth Manager (“EAM”).

  1. Experience is key. An exceptional EAM has 15 or more years’ experience in private banking. They have knowledge and a skill set that can only be learned through hands-on work in the field.
  1. Entrepreneurial at heart, the EAM’s mindset of thinking out of the box is a huge asset that provides exceptional value for the client. Staying humble, they should also be filled with self-confidence about what they bring to the table.
  1. Strong core clients that have stuck by their side for a decade or longer is a positive sign. These long-term relationships are an indicator of excellence. They have been through the ups and downs of the markets with their EAM and are more than willing to stay with them.
  1. An effective communicator, the external wealth manager focuses on his client’s needs, making them the center of his attention to the exclusion of everything else. This trait is most important as he is someone who listens and anticipates.
  1. Tried and tested processes are key to evaluating a client’s entire financial picture. The best EAM’s are not driven solely by profits, they have proven portfolio management methodologies to meet the goals set by the client.
  1. Performance is key. An EAM must has strong investment capabilities that consistently meet and exceed expectations.
  1. Objective and independent, EAM’s must have a clear mind that is uncluttered by bias will very certainly perform best. They make the best decisions for their clients.
  1. Integrity is essential for building the bonds of trust that are necessary for a productive relationship with the client.
  1. Open to change, a successful EAM with years of experience did not achieve success through rigid, unbending techniques. Accomplishments were made due to an open mind that stays abreast of the latest investment products, strategies and methods. The financial markets are not static; they are continually changing and a top-notch EAM changes with them.
  1. IT savvy, a great EAM understands the latest technology. Using it for the benefit of clients is important for long-term success. Sticking to outdated methods and technology is a form of negligence that leaves the client at a disadvantage.

In a nutshell, an EAM should be an excellent communicator who is client focused, forward thinking and results driven. Strong ethics, honesty and trustworthiness go hand-in-hand with techniques and investment strategies that are key to building long-lasting relationships.

Volatile markets and sophisticated financial products also require External Wealth Managers to have extensive knowledge and the ability to navigate fiscal waters that can be treacherous. They must be able to focus on the big picture without neglecting the minute details important for consistent success.

At Swiss-Asia we take care of all the peripheral headaches of managing the business so that the EAM’s can focus on the 10 traits that allow them to service their clients with the highest degree of professionalism.  Strive for Excellence.

For further information on Swiss-Asia’s services please visit our website: https://www.swissasia-group.com/wealth-management/



Written by Steve Knabl


An investment case for the Underdogs

In our risk-averse environment, many investors are hesitant to invest in an emerging fund manager. The majority of them have less than three years of experience, and manage funds worth less than USD 100 million. From an investor’s perspective, this apparent lack of experience does little to foster trust. The good news is – past performance is like yesterday’s weather, and replicating a monsoon during a drought is not always guaranteed.

How do you convince an investor that your future performance will be similar to your past successes? 

When an investor analyses the investment opportunity, he surprisingly first asks:

  1. Who are the people in front of me?
  2. How much experience does the fund manager have, how are decisions made?
  3. Who is the individual making the decisions, what kind of assets does he manage and what is his real edge ?
  4. What are my expectations?

Not that the potential investor does not mention the performance until the very end.

How to convince investors ?

  1. Having an audited track record is ideal. What’s even better is the ability to effectively communicate this – the ability to explain your past performance will allay fears and generate investor excitement!
  2. “The Edge” is a perceived phenomenon that must be cultivated and broadcast for success. A proven track record does wonders convincing investors that your edge is sustainable.
  3. Manage volatility through risk management and a robust investment process.
  4. Be sure all legal and disclosure requirements are being met, and that tax implications are being addressed.
  5. Internal checks and balances, as well as third party oversight must be in place.

Yin and Yang of investing in Asia – The Investors Perspective

The decision to invest with a fund manager is driven by two opposing elements – the desire for profit driven by a risk taking attitude, and the fear of losing money by being risk averse. I call that the Ying and the Yang of investing.

In Asia, just like everywhere else in the world, attracting investors seems like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Honesty, experience, and integrity goes a long way towards establishing the trust necessary to attract investors. Producing tangible results and putting the needs of your client first will insure success and profitability.

Most of all, establishing trust is important. For example, lying through omission, is a deal breaker. Arrogance and pushiness will quickly build a wall between you and any investor, which must be avoided at all costs. Any conflicts of interests must be immediately dealt with, and you must be transparent about your decision making process.

From the investors’ perspective, finding the right people is key. Age and experience are important, but so is that good old gut feeling.

David vs Goliath in the World of Fund Managers

Experience is both a blessing and a curse. An established fund manager is accustomed to making big decisions, and usually has a track record and reputation to be envied. The negative to this very same manager is that they also have a larger infrastructure to work with and cannot make decisions as freely as they once did when they were emerging – this is a lack of agility.

Often, an emerging fund manager is easier to work with and more eager to produce. In many cases, opportunities are capitalised upon faster than most established fund managers. An emerging fund manager is also more accessible, and able to work with customers more closely. There is a lot to be said for agility and being able to make decisions quickly and implement them with minimum fuss. In my opinion, this is a large part of the alpha generation factor that differentiates successful emerging managers.

Embracing 21st Century Marketing

At Swiss-Asia, we understand it is difficult for emerging fund managers to have it all and put together a perfect team to achieve what the Big Guys have. So we’ve created an incubation platform to specifically help fund managers overcome all the challenges with a dedicated team of middle and back office professionals to get you ready for battle. Once you are ready, then come the Capital Introduction events.  Swiss-Asia has decided to take it into their own hands to organise the CapIntro events to fill a gap that nobody dares to fill. See https://www.swissasia-group.com/cap-intro/

Most of the Capital Introduction events that are organised by the mainstream Prime Brokers are geared for the “Big Guys” and emerging managers get near-to-no attention – if any.  We take a meritocracy approach – if your performance is good then it should be known and shown to all !

I am also of the opinion that the days of building brands through secrecy and opaque private placement modes are over.  It is undeniable that branding, social media, and online promoting will take up-and-coming hedge funds closer and closer Big Guys.

It’s the 21st Century of marketing techniques and Swiss-Asia is committed to being one of the pioneers in this space.


Steve Knabl