Apex launches Tokyo office
Apex Fund Services has become the first independent administrator to open up an office in Japan.
The Tokyo-based office will be run by Hideki Hashiguchi, who was previously a director at Credit Suisse Fund Services. He was also chairman of AIMA Japan between 2007 and 2009.
“Recent changes in the political environment have led to looser financial monetary policy which in turn has attracted the attention of the global investment community. Japanese fund managers have been relatively overlooked over the last 20 years by international fund servicing organisations and Abenomics has firmly put them back on the industry’s radar,” said Peter Hughes, group managing director at Apex Fund Services.
This launch comes as Japan’s Financial Services Agency has eased some of the rules aimed at investment managers in what could precipitate the emergence of a domestic hedge fund industry. Under the old rules, hedge funds were required to appoint seven people as investment managers and then wait one year to receive a license – while keeping those employees on the payroll. Furthermore, managers were required to have at least $50,000 in capital.
The liberalising measures now require hedge funds to appoint just two members of staff and an auditor, while the capital requirements have been lowered to $10,000. The country’s regulator will also make it easier for firms to short-sell domestic stocks with the rules taking effect next week.
Despite this, Japan is struggling to attract managers. Data from Eurekahedge indicates there are 55 locally registered hedge funds with offices in Japan, although just 20 are domiciled in the country. This lack of uptick is attributable to the attractive hedge fund regimes on offer in both Hong Kong and Singapore.