It seems like almost six months since I was in Shanghai to present at the 2nd Annual Hedge Fund China Summit 2016 and to enjoy plenty of the vino tinto at the awards dinner afterwards where my firm, Harneys, picked up the trophy for “Best Offshore Law Firm for Hedge Funds”.
Wait, that’s because it was five months ago.
And what a five months it has been.
Shortly after picking up that award, I was thrilled to hear that my colleagues in our London office had been named Best Offshore Law Firm – Client Service at the HFM European Hedge Fund Services Awards, announced on 21 April 2016.
The HFM Awards are high profile in the global hedge funds industry and the client service award is independently judged based on the relative strength of client testimonials and market feedback. The awards recognise Harneys as having provided leading client service, innovation and expertise to our valued hedge fund clients of all sizes, from start-up hedge funds and emerging managers to global multi-billion dollar investment institutions. That is what we do.
Now, when I say thrilled … what I actually mean is … indignant that my colleagues in London would seek more glory than their far more humble colleagues battling away day and night here in the buzzing hub of economic activity that is Asia.
Private Equity Funds and Fund of Funds in China, also known as ‘Sunshine Funds’, are growing rapidly. In this guest post, my colleague and Managing Partner of Harneys Shanghai Kristy Calvert explores the reasons behind this trend.
The Asset Management Industry is one of the fastest growing business sectors in China. Privately managed (non-retail) funds in China, often referred to as ‘sunshine funds’ by local practitioners, have traditionally enjoyed a largely unregulated environment – unlike the mutual funds industry, which is heavily regulated by the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
Hong Kong International Airport is a fine airport to be sure, but after five and a half hours sitting in the airport lounge, waiting for my delayed flight to Shanghai to depart, it was beginning to lose its appeal.
This was only the second time I had headed the two hours or so north from my home base of Hong Kong to the most populous city in the People’s Republic of China, and the first time had run like a military operation. This time certainly didn’t appear to be getting off to such a great start.
I had an interesting conversation today. First some background. You may have noticed that, over the last week, world equity markets have undergone substantial amounts of selling that have driven share prices down to a degree where words like “fear” and “panic” and “market turmoil” seemed to be appearing in the press and media with alarming regularity – only to then rise strongly again over the last day or two.
Basically, everyone seems to be freaking out that the Chinese economy is going to implode and pull the rest of the global economy down with it, or maybe not.
But back to my interesting conversation. Somebody asked me what I thought all of the above would mean for the hedge fund industry. This got me to thinking about what a hedge fund actually is. See, I told you this was going to be interesting.